Collected Poems 1937-1971

Overview

This volume brings together all of Berryman’s poetry, except for his epic The Dream Songs, ranging from his earliest unpublished poem (1934) to those written in the last months of his life (1972). A definitive edition of one of America’s most distinguished poets.

This definitive edition of one of America's most distinguished poets brings together all of Berryman's published poetry, except his epic, "The Dream Songs."

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Collected Poems 1937-1971

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Overview

This volume brings together all of Berryman’s poetry, except for his epic The Dream Songs, ranging from his earliest unpublished poem (1934) to those written in the last months of his life (1972). A definitive edition of one of America’s most distinguished poets.

This definitive edition of one of America's most distinguished poets brings together all of Berryman's published poetry, except his epic, "The Dream Songs."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
For readers unattuned to what Thornbury here calls ``Berryman's strange and dissonant music,'' this gathering of verse may unlock the poems' inner recesses. In his extensive introductory essay, the editor, who teaches at St. John's University in Minnesota, explores Berryman's poetry of disrupted syntax, of continual deaths and rebirths, of self-deceptions and ultimate self-understanding. He also provides a biographical context for the sonnets, satires and confessionals, taking into account the poet's peripatetic boyhood, his suppressed rage at his father's suicide, his metamorphoses as Cambridge don, alcoholic philanderer, itinerant professor-poet and suicide at age 57. Berry displayed his febrile inventiveness as early as Sonnets to Chris (1947), a cycle included here that is by turns romantically tender, cynical, manic, elegant and slangy; this edition brings together all of Berryman's published volumes of poetry except for The Dream Songs. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Making careful editorial decisions about Berryman's sometimes confusing manuscripts and corrected page proofs, Thornbury brings together all seven collections of short poems and Homage to Mistress Bradstreet. Though one can trace the influences of other poets--Yeats, Auden, Crane--before Berryman's voice emerges, ultimately the subject of his poems is unabashedly the personal. Tortured if brilliant, Berryman draws on his many selves to fashion dialogs between old and new ways of being. Central to the mid-century's intellectual and emotional life, he records the outcome of human experience as the opposite of what we either hope for or expect in shifts of language from dialect to sophisticated rhetoric that underscore the poetry's agony. Not included are Berryman's own published prefaces and notes, copy texts, variants, The Dream Songs , and posthumously published works.-- Rosaly DeMaios Roffman, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374522810
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 8/1/1991
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 416,446
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

John Berryman was born in Oklahoma in 1914. The author of several volumes of poetry, of which The Dream Songs is considered his masterwork, he died, a suicide, in 1972.

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