I picked up another book whilst roaming the personal library. Dream Songs, Berryman’s master work. You probably read on it, you college-educated poet type.
Berryman’s suicide makes everything prior more serious, which isn’t fair, but, natheless, there’s some truthable qualities to that reaction. He untied the Gordian knot Alexander-style, but poetry along the way.
Berryman twiddled with syntax, but did so, you ask me, like Milton did, within a motored arrangement of language. Preciously reversed word order.
His blackface is officially awful. We gotta get outta this place. This spectacle of other is emboldened by college-trained spree. It is really dispiriting to read, at this ‘late date’.
There is one misstep.
Berryman implemented a protective coating called Henry, etc, which is fine. No one’s a hero in emotional terms.
Berryman lets leering and snipe flow in the same impulse as was rendering him drunken boat.
That is another misstep.
He lets fuss take a major place. He harps on horny minutes, or times of disregard. We have those, all of us. He stops there, tho, unthrilled by the continuum. He lugs the weight of the prior suicide, his dad, Exhibit A. Exhibit A is a poor name for the squandered and sad reduction of possibility in one life. College-training seems to condition taxonomy, what goes where.
The poetry is utmost of most of importance. What else could he do? The poetry is not wonderful because, but that’s where the fire got the idea.
Dream Songs lies stuck in official, but even so. Berryman enters, and in moments of embrace, the poetry resurrects. The work as a whole reeks of an effort, and a grandeur making, but, you know, we’re human, weak as that. Skipping over that telltale, do you see something sprawling humanly? I do. We have to get rid of the biography, life is not poetry. Berryman scored the rock, and those scratches bloom outwardly. Read on, the message says.