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The dream songs by John Berryman
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The dream songs

by John Berryman

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The Dream Songs is a monumental work of modern poetry. It has wide influence and is a monument of both its time in relation to the genre and of Berryman's own life and thought. Still, I would not call it perfect, though many would disagree with me. I think what draws me to that decision is its sheer mass, over three hundred individual poems. Many of these poems are jsut okay, if not outright boring. At the same time, a few handfuls of these poems are among the best I have ever read - evocative, musical, woeful, funny, piercing songs. You can't say, unlike with other collections, that it would have been better if Berryman cut a number of the poems. Too reduce this book by too much would risk making its narrative incoherent. One strength of the overall collection is we do get a great sense of poor, pitiful Henry, but some of the poems that make up that portrait are rather forgettable. This is not a perfect poetry collection, but it is still one from which any serious student of poetry will learn indispensable lessons in form and music and emotion and that needs to be read. ( )
  poetontheone | Mar 10, 2016 |
I liked sad comical Henry as a kid, but find it all too personal, too inward, too confessional, too boring now. ( )
  Michael.Xolotl | Nov 11, 2015 |
these dream songs are reading them somehow familiar after a couple and really there's nothing as disconcerting sometimes as berrymans umm syntactical choices. etc. ( )
  wensley | Dec 20, 2013 |
A handful of these poems are among my favourite poems ever but, as a whole, I find the collection uneven: many, the majority, just mean nothing to me. Even so, the dream song is a gorgeous format, and when they are good they are very very good. ( )
  aliceunderskies | Apr 1, 2013 |
It rocked me to my bones when I first read it. ( )
  jarvenpa | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374530661, Paperback)

This edition combines The Dream Songs, awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1965, and His Toy, His Dream, His Rest, which won the National Book Award for Poetry in 1969 and contains all 385 songs. Of The Dream Songs, A. Alvarez wrote in The Observer, "A major achievement. He has written an elegy on his brilliant generation and, in the process, he has also written an elegy on himself."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:19 -0400)

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