e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Celebrities - Berryman John (Books)

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. The Dream Songs
2. John Berryman: Collected Poems
3. Recovery
4. John Berryman: Selected Poems
5. The Life of John Berryman
6. Stephen Crane: A Critical Biography
7. We Dream of Honour: John Berryman's
8. 77 Dream Songs
9. The Wounded Surgeon: Confession
10. Henry's Fate and Other Poems,
11. John Berryman - American Writers
12. John Berryman and the Thirties:
13. The Middle Generation: The Lives
14. John Berryman's Personal Library:
15. Homage to Mistress Bradstreet
16. Berryman's Shakespeare: Essays,
17. John Berryman (Bloom's Modern
18. Dark Airs: John Berryman and the
19. Pike on the Fly: The Flyfishermans
20. Dream Song: The Life of John Berryman

1. The Dream Songs
by John Berryman
Paperback: 464 Pages (2007-04-17)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$9.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374530661
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

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, Â"A major achievement. He has written an elegy on his brilliant generation and, in the process, he has also written an elegy on himself.Â"
... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

1-0 out of 5 stars Better late than never
Hope lingers that this book will get to me before never is better than late.

4-0 out of 5 stars the chronicles of Henry the Sniveler, poet of brilliance ...

This assemblage of six line stanzas, in precarious sonnet form, that is, Henry's de facto form, finds the text crammed and twisted, the poetic content bewilderingly mashed into many of these lines of text. What starkly emerges is the power of an intense amount of self-generated pain.

The despair and self-loathing contrasts sharply with the wicked wit and occasional flash of meanness; the confessionally inclined Henry emerges as a not-too-honest, lustful and quite sad storyteller. The DREAM SONGS are anything but flawless; and yet, the flaws are so unique that they augment the collage of experience that Berryman at times compellingly depicts. Some of the SONGS are flat out brilliant, while others are just oozing with sticky pathos and self-indulgent whining. These are the loosely linked themes that bear the load of Henry's loves, losses, work-in-progress, current events, and even some domestic details.

Berryman's denial notwithstanding, his Henry and Bones personas, standing unsteadily through the too-many alcoholic dawns ... well, he somehow manages to pull himself together enough to shakily get to class and lecture in order to earn some more whiskey money. And to his credit, his erudition lurks on through these self-styled sonnet songs - experimental collages, maudlin at times, fueled by the hard liquored nights.

Jung would say Berryman is "too high up in his mind", a personality riddled with self-importance. Under the currents of self-loathing and pity lurks an obvious hankering for fame - and the DREAM SONGS provide the catharsis and exit for his regrets, which seem many.

No, Henry is not one prone to humility - and his creator can be a real horse's ass, with many racist undercurrents weaving through the sniveling and morbid death obsessions. Yet, throughout all the textual dross, lies the glint of poetic nuggets waiting to be claimed by the metaphorically intrepid.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Baffling & Beautiful
Don't start this book with the expectation that you will read it from first page to last as you would a novel or many other long poems because if you do you will only end up frustrated.Better to do as other reviewers here have recommended: sample a sonnet here, a page or two there; let the words and images wash over you; and don't worry if many of the pieces seem to lack meaning at first.The title of this work should be taken quite literally: Berryman's sonnets are indeed frangented pieces of a dream, each of which offers a glimpse of a tortured but brilliant intellect, and like all dreams they need to be understood on their own terms and not through the expectations that we bring to them.

I tried several times to get into Dream Songs and failed, put off each time by its refusal to surrender its meaning easily.Finally, on a whim, I picked it up and just started reading, flipping through the sonnets at random--and that's when I got it.It isn't meaning that Berryman is seeking to relate to the reader, or even wisdom--it's simply his -- Henry's? -- life, unadorned, with warts and all.

If you're reading these reviews then no doubt you're the kind of person who is open to the experience that this book has to offer.Five-plus stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off
Don't be put off.It daunts one at first.Flip through till you find the right one, then skip around.There are gems in here, and the more you keep looking, the more you find.Trite as that may be to say, there are rich rewards here

5-0 out of 5 stars LIKE LISTENING TO JAZZ
I learned about The Dream Songs through The Writer's Almanac.I bought the book because of the stellar Amazon reviews. I'm hooked.This poetry is like no other. I find it comforting that I will never actually finish reading it; it will always be new.Berryman's writing takes me places-- like listening to jazz. ... Read more

2. John Berryman: Collected Poems 1937-1971
by John Berryman
Paperback: 512 Pages (1991-08-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$19.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374522812
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
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.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitive Berryman
All the poems but the /Dream Songs/, which are collected separately (also from Amazon).The included /Sonnets/ are from the original ms carbons, unemended, but with the five extra of the 1964 first edition.
Easy typeface and size, stanzas properly divided.
Adequate bio for all but Berryman scholars.
You like Berryman in whole or part, or you don't, and this is where you'll find out.If you do, a must-have (also the /Dream Songs/).

... Read more

3. Recovery
by John Berryman
Paperback: 272 Pages (2002-12-10)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$0.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560254793
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Dr. Alan Severance wakes up one morning confined to a familiarhospital with no recollection of his arrival. Thus starts Recovery,Berryman’s semi-autobiographical tale of "the disease called‘alcoholism.’" This time, determined to free himself from hisdisease, Dr. Severance plunges into a rigorous plan forrecovery. Following the clinic’s advice he confesses his humiliations,defeats, and delusions in an attempt to purge himself and achievenormality. The novel is elevated above the ordinary by Berryman’ssharp wit and penetrating intelligence. An alcoholic and criticallyacclaimed Pulitzer prize-winning poet, Berryman jumped to his deathoff the Washington Avenue Bridge in 1972 in Minneapolis, abandoninghis own attempts to overcome alcoholism as well as the yet unfinishedRecovery. The resulting novel is a powerful portrayal of Severance’seternally indefinite attempts to free himself from the grip ofaddiction. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars This is treatment?
Philistine that I am, I am not surprised to find myself out of my league when reading great poets; so when the first few chapters of this book of prose seemed incomprehensible I began to feel, once again, in over my head. I continued to read, however, and slowly I was able to make sense of what I was reading as the abstract language of a sick artist fell away to reveala concrete human plight.Ironically neither this book nor John's recovery reached a conclusion, the book was published unedited by the author, posthumously - unfortunately John ended his life and his struggle with alcohol shortly after the events that inspired the book took place.I was horrified by the few lucid descriptions of what life is like in a treatment center, an asylum run by the inmates (former inmates), where the cure was browbeating and humiliating confrontation. Having struggled with alcohol myself, I am grateful that I never checked into one of these indoctrination camps.But then again I am an unqualified critic in denial!

5-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, self-lacerating, hopeful novel of victory over addiction
John Berryman was working on "Recovery" when he died, and in these pages there is hope of some ultimate victory over addiction. In the character of Alan Severance is the thinly-veiled personality of the poet himself, self-deprecating and perfectionist, attempting to overcome despair in a hospitalized addict's routine of recognition and confrontation. It is by no means an uplifting triumph to acknowledge that he got this far in the struggle -- but that he got this far, and then despaired, says much about the power of alcohol to ruin even the power of hope. This novel will change any romantic notions the reader may have about art and the role of drugs in the life of any artist. ... Read more

4. John Berryman: Selected Poems (American Poets Project)
by John Berryman
Hardcover: 200 Pages (2004-11-04)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$6.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931082693
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Blues for Mr. Bones
One of the most honest and at the same time unique voices in late 20th century poetry.(Is this also a comment about late 20th century poetry?) The Dream Songs will grow on you after the first re-reading, and after the second you find yourself useless for any other brand of verse. (In this sense, Berryman does to modern American verse what Pynchon does to American fiction, and there are other similarities I think, to the credit of both.)

This volume, in addition, collects the lesser known works of Berryman, many of which may be almost as memorable as the songs of his renown. In particular, the precursor Homage for Mistress Bradstreet - part character sketch, part lyrical tribute, part dreamscape blending memory, history, and disillusion at the very birth of a nation - and the religious poetry of Berryman's last years - a peculiar religion that blends humility, wit, and fragile bones - shed a soft light on the poet's middle masterpiece and complete the picture of Henry House and his creator. May he rest in peace.

4-0 out of 5 stars John Berryman: selected poems
A good introduction to Berryman's work, especially strong on the early work, under-represented in other selections I have seen.The later work is less comprehensive: 34 out of "77 dream songs" (44%) is fine; but only 27 out of 308 dream songs in the subsequent "His toy, his dream, his rest" (9%)?That tiny representation must indicate that the editor, Kevin Young, believes that Berryman declined spectacularly as a poet in the late 60s, despite winning the National Book Award for "His toy, his dream, his rest"; and I cannot accept this.My small complaint about this volume really boils down to the imposition of a 200-page upper limit to the volumes in the American poets project.Some poets could be happily represented by 150 pages.Berryman needs 250.However, given this limitation, the editor has done well in presenting a rounded picture of Berryman's achievement, with a short but helpful introdution, and ten pages of notes and background material.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well-selected poems of an uneven poet.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the editor's introduction and these poems of a Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet.They are well selected and represent the entire span of Berryman's work unlike some other collections that lack some of the author's books.My favorite poems are his early poems up to his famous "Homage to Mistress Bradstreet" and his late poems that have lost much of his egotism and drip with regret, humility, and hope of a better life.

A knowledge of Berryman's life is requisite to understand most of his poetry.His father committed suicide when the author was just a boy.Berryman was promptly adopted, given a new last name - Berryman, and sent to a boarding school by his mother and new stepfather - the man with whom his mother was having an affair at the time of his father's suicide.Berryman himself committed suicide at age 57 after years of problems from divorce to alcholism.The editor, Kevin Young, gives a great overview of Berryman's life and allows the reader of these poems the knowledge necessary to enjoy them fully.I think a reader would be lost much of the time without the introduction, so I definitely recommend this particular edition.

His early poems are about the struggle for adulthood.Here is a representative excerpt.
"He is learning, well behind his deperate eyes,
The epistemology of loss, how to stand up
Knowing what every man must one day know
And most know many days, how to stand up"

The influence of Auden, Yeats, Eliot and others are evident.Take these lines:
"The time is coming near
When none shall have books or music, none his dear,
And only a fool will speak aloud his mind.
History is approaching a speechless end"
You could easily place these lines in the middle of Yeats' Second Coming.

There is an undeniable religiosity in Berryman's work from the earliest to the latest poems.Lines like "Finish, Lord, in me this work thou hast begun" are as autobiographical as they are biographical.In one of his last poems he notes, "I do not understand; but I believe".

His middle poems are wildly unpredictable and unconventional.Some are pithy, others whimsical, and still others offensive.Who can not be charmed by a poet who notes, "Life, friends, is boring."

All in all, a great American poet, in a great collection with a great foreword and editor.Four stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Will serve to introduce a whole new generation to his work
John Berryman: Selected Poems is the latest addition to the outstanding "American Poets Project" series from The Library of America. Deftly edited for the reader by poet and essayist Kevin Young, this is the the showcase collection of poetry by the Pulitzer Prize winning John Berryman and will aptly serve to introduce a whole new generation to his work that ranges from wrenching religious poems to verse that is characterized with a mesmerizing diction. King David Dances: Aware to the dry throat of the wide hell in the world,/O trampling empires, and mine one of them,/and mine one gross desire against His sight,/slaughter devising there,/some good behind, ambiguous ahead,/revolted sons, a pierced son, bound to bear,/mid hypocrites amongst idolaters,/mockt in abysm by one shallow wife,/with the ponder both of priesthood & of State/heavy upon me, yea,/all the black same I dance my blue head off! Also very highly recommended as newly released titles in of the "American Poets Project" series are William Carlos Williams: Selected Poems (1931082-715, $20.00) and Amy Lowell: Selected Poems (1931082707, $20.00).
... Read more

5. The Life of John Berryman
by John Haffenden
 Paperback: 451 Pages (1984-02)
list price: US$1.98 -- used & new: US$39.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0744800048
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A member of the middle generation of American poets
John Berryman belonged to the middle generation of American poets.Berryman was a fan of Saul Bellow.Literary success and critical acclaim came late to him.HOMAGE TO MISTRESS BRADSTREET and DREAM SONGS are notable achievements.He knew artistic ecstacy and alcoholic degradation.

Berryman was troubled, flamboyant.His father committed suicide when he ws eleven.John Berryman attended Kent School.He was remembered as rather gawky, clumsy.He had an insincere career at school.There was an emphasis on games.Berryman showed immense academic and literary promise.

After five years at Kent Berryman went to Columbia.In the initial years extracurricular activities consumed his time and he even failed a course by his life-long mentor and friend, Mark Van Doren.Retaking that course and redeeming himself in other ways, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and went on to Cambridge.At Cambridge his arrogance and set of affectations alienated a number of people.His supervisor was George Rylands.He met Eliot and Auden and Yeats.Studying Yeats, he discovered in that poet the importance of personal symbols.Berryman believed that Yeats united contemplation and action as a complete man.

Berryman's beginning as a university teacher took place at Wayne State University.He taught many places and is typically associated with Princeton and the University of Minnesota where he spent the longest periods of his adult life.He was subject to mental breakdowns from over-work, and during the last four years of his life, hospitalization for his condition of alcoholism.Many of his physical ills were psychosomatic.

The author describes his friendships with many people including Bhain Campbell and Delmore Schwartz.Berryman in his diaries had a deep and terrible need to stress mostly torment and crisis.He had a painful sense of competition towards other poets.He wrote on Stephen Crane and Ezra Pound and Shakespeare.He was incisive and inventive in the classroom.Among his students even a Berryman style developed.

In 1962 Robert Lowell suggested that Berryman publish a provisional volume of Dream Songs.In 1966 a piece showing him to be temperamental and sensational appeared in LIFE.After undergoing treatment at Hazelden, among other places, he wrote a fictional account of his experience in RECOVERY. ... Read more

6. Stephen Crane: A Critical Biography
by John Berryman
Paperback: 368 Pages (2001-08-25)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$13.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0815411154
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A penetrating study of the life and writings of Stephen Crane, author ofThe Red Badge of Courage , by one of America's greatest poets and critics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The sun was pasted in the sky like a wafer
John Berryman ( Dreamsongs) was one of America's finest poets. He began as a literary critic and this thorough work on the life of Cranecontains both a solid biography and considerable literary criticism of Crane's work.
He writes of Crane as a young , rebelious genius, who had his own way of seeing things. He traces in detail the journalistic career of Crane which led him not simply to the Bowery and East Side, but to battlefieds in Greece and Cuba. He analyzes to a degree Crane's masterpiece ' The Red Badge of Courage' Here is his brief description of the work. "The Red Badge of Courage is the story of the mind of a new young Northern soldier as it accustoms itself to war during two days in and out of his first battle. There is a preliminary debate within himself as to whether he will run away or not. When his regiment is charged a second time, hye does, and hides resentfully in a wood, where he meeta a rotting corpse in a chapellike place. He joins the march of wounded away from the battle and comes on a friend hurt horribly, a tall soldier, whom he accompanies to his extraordinary death.A tattered man has befriended him on the march, this man, whose plight is very bad, his mind wandering, the youth deserts in shame, on the question reiterated, of where he is wounded. Then in a flight of the troops he is clubbed with a rifle when he tries to ask a panic- stricken man a question. An unseen man finally helps him back to his regiment.Since it has got scattered during the battle his shame is unknown:he says he was shot and is cared for by a friend, a loud youth who bandages his bloody head.He sleeps. Next morning he feels no remorsek and is full of "self-pride" even, when the loud youth reluctantly and shamefacedly has to ask for the return of a packet of papers given the youth in fear, before the battle."He had been possessed of much fear of his friend, for he saw how easily questionings could make holes in his feelings." Now "his heart grew more strong and stut.He had never been compelled to blush in such a manner for his acts' he was an individual of extraordinary virtues." In the battle of this second day he is a war devil.During the charge, when the color- bearer is killed, he wrenches the flag free and bears it. In hard new fighting he and the loud youth are commended. The regiment takes a fence and a flag, and rests. "He had been to touch the great death and found, that after all, it was but the great death . He was a a man ...Scars faded as flowers"
One of the great praises of 'The Red Badge of Courage' is how Crane who had never experienced war, managed to write of it more realistically than so many who it had. This ' ironic realism' of Crane, this daring way of seeing and imagining reality were distinctive of his genius.
This is a very good book. And it also contains Berryman's critical readings of Crane's quite strange and wholly unique poetry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Milestone in Crane Studies
Now going on 60 years old, this was poet Berryman's doctoral thesis.It remains a milestone study on Crane, and in American literature studies generally for its acute insights.It stands up quite well to most Crane studies since; though more "facts" have emerged, they do not greatly alter the essential portrait.A good complement to Berryman's book is Robert Stallman's, which sets Crane in the context of his fantastic end-of-a-century day.But to get at the core of the creative genius it really takes another, and while some of Berryman's views are still controversial, there can be little arguing with most of it.

Crane wrote two short novel masterpieces, Maggie and the Red Badge, and several of the best stories in modern English to date in a short span of about 8 years.Berryman deftly mixes biography with literary criticism of these works in a sound scholarly way unfortunately no longer fashionable.His bow to the ethos of his own times is a Freudian chapter at the end, which you can take or mostly leave.Its placement is simultaneously shrewd and cynical; an obvious bow to Berryman's teachers' demands, but to any other reader as detatchable as a coupon.It therefore does not mar the otherwise deep meditation on this mercurial personality, who Berryman characterizes as a "volcanic" natural talent from whom words flowed like lava. Berryman believes Crane was likely to have dwarfed most other American novelists had he lived and produced beyond his mere 30 years.While such speculations are often a distraction, his affinity with Crane turns them into a compelling meditation on where American literature was shortly to go:to World War I and Paris.

Berryman, even without his subsequent poetic output, was an important critic, and this book also serves as the proper starting point to his own double career.Work on Crane still needed to be defended when Berryman wrote in 1950 -- he has lasted 50 years since his writing, Berryman pronounces, setting a yardstick and defense.Now, ironically, his own fine book has met the same test of time. ... Read more

7. We Dream of Honour: John Berryman's Letters to His Mother
by Richard Kelly, John Berryman
 Hardcover: 430 Pages (1988-03)
list price: US$22.50 -- used & new: US$20.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393024776
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Oedipus rising
The normal inclination after reading this book is to say, "I can see why he jumped off the Washington Avenue bridge." and that's pretty much the picture it draws for the reader.

The constricting relationship between Berryman and his mother from his days at Cambridge to the end of his life was often contentious and demanding, though loving in nature. The seemingly tight-knit love slowly unravels as the young man blossoms into a self-reliant(albeit maniacal) man of letters and esteemed poet. Early on it is evident that the glue sticking this family(brother Robert Jefferson is alluded to often)together was the suicide of John Allyn Smith, Berryman's(his name belonging to his step-father) father. The grief of that incidence, which the poet witnessed, plagued him until his own untimely demise and likely contributed to his alcholism and other physical and psychosomatic maladies which the poet incurred and often brought on himself.

As Berryman graduates from college and begins his life as an academic he is often reliant upon his mother for support, both morally and financially. This carries through three marriages and until after many years, when the roles begin to reverse and the pressures of his growing popularity and stature wears him to a thin wire of nerves and anguish. Through it all he always strives to please her and provide for her expectations as much as his own bravado. It is only when the two goals clash, and they often do, that the strain becomes evident and irreversible.

As the book wears on and a few of Mrs. Berryman's melodramatic letters are placed alongside his, it becomes obvious where much of his grotesque public theatrics is rooted. I loathed to read any of her syncophantic retchings and felt totally sympathetic with his side of the relations.

Berryman's letters are often inciteful and funny, cocksure and self-important all the while being plagued with desperation and suffering. Though he tried to mask much of the reckless behavior (at least in the selections provided)he had engaged in (extra-marital affairs, alcoholism, drug dependency), much of the personal and psychological struggles are discussed exhaustively.

Although not as complete as one of the two major available biographies on Berryman, it certainly serves as a good companion piece, providing missing insights and general proclivites of the troubled poet. ... Read more

8. 77 Dream Songs
by John Berryman
Paperback: 100 Pages (1964-01-01)
list price: US$11.00 -- used & new: US$7.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374508488
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Faber are pleased to announce the relaunch of the poetry list - starting in Spring 2001 and continuing, with publication dates each month, for the rest of the year. This will involve a new jacket design recalling the typographic virtues of the classic Faber poetry covers, connecting the backlist and the new titles within a single embracing cover solution. A major reissue program is scheduled, to include classic individual collections from each decade, some of which have long been unavailable: Wallace Stevens's Harmonium and Ezra Pound's Personae from the 1920s; W.H. Auden's Poems (1930); Robert Lowell's Life Studies from the 1950s; John Berryman's 77 Dream Songs and Philip Larkin's The Whitsun Weddings from the 1960s; Ted Hughes's Gaudete and Seamus Heaney's Field Work from the 1970s; Michael Hofmann's Acrimony and Douglas Dunn's Elegies from the 1980s. Timed to celebrate publication of Seamus Heaney's new collection, Electric Light, the relaunch is intended to re-emphasize the predominance of Faber Poetry, and to celebrate a series which has played a shaping role in the history of modern poetry since its inception in the 1920s. ... Read more

9. The Wounded Surgeon: Confession and Transformation in Six American Poets (Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, Delmore Schwartz, Sylvia Plath)
by Adam Kirsch
Paperback: 318 Pages (2005-04-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$15.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393339351
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
"One of the most promising young poet-critics in America" (Los Angeles Times) examines a revolutionary generation of poets.

Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, and Delmore Schwartz formed one of the great constellations of talent in American literature. In the decades after World War II, they changed American poetry forever by putting themselves at risk in their poems in a new and provocative way. Their daring work helped to inspire the popular style of poetry now known as "confessional." But partly as a result of their openness, they have become better known for their tumultuous lives—afflicted by mental illness, alcoholism, and suicide—than for their work. This book reclaims their achievement by offering critical "biographies of the poetry"—tracing the development of each poet's work, exploring their major themes and techniques, and examining how they transformed life into art.

An ideal introduction for readers coming to these major American poets for the first time, it will also help veteran readers to appreciate their work in a new light. 6 illustrations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Surgeon's Gift: Inspiration and Clarity
Adam Kirsch takes his title "The Wounded Surgeon" from T. S. Eliot's poem "East Coker":

"The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part."

In his introduction, Kirsch explains: "T.S. image evokes the resolve, not to say heroism, that these poets displayed by submitting their most intimate and painful experiences to the objective discipline of art. . . . But the suffering that afflicted this group of poets becomes significant only because they examined it with the surgeon's rigor, detachment, and skill" (p. xi).

Kirsch does the same--examines with "rigor, detachment and skill"--the body of these six poets' lives and works. His close readings deepen our understanding of how their lives and work intertwined, influenced, and yes, (as the subtitle says) transformed each other.

Lowell, Bishop, Berryman, Jarrell, Schwartz, and Plath never had a better reader--certainly not in one place. Each chapter illumines the other as Kirsch patiently explores his thesis and shows the rise and (and in the case of Schwartz) the fall of their talents.

Kirch shows their education and work in the context of the literary movements of the time--modernism and The New Criticism. These six poets scrambled a path through Moderism to a new form of poetic expression that would stamp itself on generations of poets to come. This new way of writing allowed the breath and messiness of life to come inside the poem, not be held aloof and at bay outside.

Personally, I especially enjoyed his chapter on Elizabeth Bishop ("Everything only connected by 'and'and 'and'") as Kirch elucidates Bishop's search to "contain loss in art, the scream in the clang." I came away with a profound appreciation of Bishop ascraftsperson (maker), poet, person, and woman...and, can now take these insights back to reading her work.

I also found inspiration and greater clarity for my own work from reading this book. What greater gift can a writer ask?

--Janet Grace Riehl,Sightlines: A Poet's Diary

1-0 out of 5 stars This Derivative Book is Less than Groundbreaking
Anyone who has read the scholarship on these poets knows that there is really nothing original here.Either Kirsch has not done his homework, or, more likely, he has assimilated much of the relevant schoalrship without acknowedging it in this sparsely documented book.I was excited about this book because I thought it would bea good introduction to some good poets for the general reader.It may well be I'm not the audience for this book, but I noticed that most of the insights had been expressed before by others and more convincingly.This is middle-of-the-road, indeed middling, literary journalism.Kirsch's claims are modest, but he is not--he reinvents the wheel and passes it off as his own singular wisdom at his best and as the wisdom of the ages at his worst.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not a poet or critic
I have little to no experience with poetry criticism and little appreciation for modern poetry. I was hoping this book would provide me with some education so I could appreciate poetry to a greater extent. Well, it did that and more. I found the book very interesting. Although a "dense" read (I read many sections more than once to understand them), I found it worth my time. I came away with an understanding of these poets and how to read their, and others', poetry. I found the analyses to be straightforward and not full of a lot of insider jargon. Although I have no sense of how much the author's comments are revisionist, repetitive of prior work, or new; I found them to be well-substantiated and supported by some wonderful examples of poems.

4-0 out of 5 stars Poetic Purging
Adam Kirsch has written an interesting 'surgical procedure' in the THE WOUNDED SURGEON: he defends the so-called 'Confessional Poets' Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, and Delmore Schwartz whose work from 1940 through the 1970s, praising "the resolve, not to say heroism, that these poets displayed by submitting their most intimate and painful experiences to the objective discipline of art."

In clear and at all times illuminating prose Kirsch examines each of these six poets and relates the personal lives that influenced their major works.Not a gossip column this, but an erudite exploration of how pain and death and disappointment and tragedy of all manner drove these poets to validate their own sorrows and rage rather that imagining those feelings or assigning them to fictitious personages.

While most everyone knows the life and times and resulting poetry of Sylvia Plath (endless biographies and films have seen to that), few of the others' lives are understood. Kirsch sets the record straight and in doing so makes lucid some of the more obtuse works included in this book.

Some would argue that Kirsch's thesis goes on too long, but in getting into the minds and hearts of poets can be a lengthy process. Kirsch has done a fine job of study on these six poets and lets us see how their art transformed their lives by their confessional poetry. Grady Harp, June 05 ... Read more

10. Henry's Fate and Other Poems, 1967-1972
by John Berryman
Hardcover: 93 Pages (1977-03)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$117.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374169500
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

11. John Berryman - American Writers 85: University of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers
by William J. Martz
Paperback: 48 Pages (1969-12-03)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0816605475
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

John Berryman - American Writers 85 was first published in 1969. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

... Read more

12. John Berryman and the Thirties: A Memoir
by E. M. Halliday
 Paperback: 240 Pages (1988-04)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$17.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0870235850
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

13. The Middle Generation: The Lives and Poetry of Delmore Schwartz, Randall Jarell, John Berryman and Robert Lowell
by Bruce Bawer
 Hardcover: 226 Pages (1986-12)
list price: US$25.00
Isbn: 0208021256
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

14. John Berryman's Personal Library: A Catalogue (American University Studies Series Xxiv, American Literature)
by Richard J. Kelly, John Berryman
 Hardcover: 433 Pages (1998-12)
list price: US$63.95 -- used & new: US$47.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0820439983
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This catalogue of poet John Berryman's (1914-1972) personal library provides unique insight into the life and work, the range of thought and emotion, and the special interests and enthusiasms of the man the British critic Donald Davie described as "one of the most gifted and intelligent Americans of his time." The library is, just for the volumes alone, a distinguished one in several areas. What makes it especially valuable though, as this study conveys, is the extensive pencil and ink record of Berryman's passionate and lifelong interaction with the books. ... Read more

15. Homage to Mistress Bradstreet and Other Poems
by John Berryman
 Paperback: Pages (1968-01-01)

Asin: B003GLKW9E
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

16. Berryman's Shakespeare: Essays, Letters and Other Writings by John Berryman
by John Berryman
Paperback: 480 Pages (2001-11-16)
-- used & new: US$3.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1860646433
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The work of Shakespeare was Berryman's abiding passion and he devoted a lifetime to writing about it. His extensive writings on the subject have now been collected and edited by John Haffenden and reveal that Berryman's interest in the canon of Shakespeare's work was profound and far-reaching. John Berryman, one of America's most talented and influential modern poets, acquired a reputation as an innovator with a bold literary style. He was also an active, prolific, and perceptive critic whose own experience as a major poet served to his advantage. The New York Times Book Review described him as 'not only one of the most gifted Americans of his time, but also one of the most honorable and responsible.' This perceptive and engaging compilation will be enjoyed by all who share Berryman's passion for Shakespeare. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars A must for Lear-lovers; a skip for Berryman fans
Unless you are preparing a PhD thesis on Berryman, this book will not offer you any insight into his poetic works, including THE DREAM SONGS.However, for those interested in Shakespeare, it will offer fresh and not-so-fresh insights into Shakespeare's methods, similar to Bloom's SHAKESPEARE: INVENTION OF THE HUMAN.How interested in Shakespeare must you be?Well, you have to be into Q's and F's (quartos and folios), obsure Elizabethan personages (William Houghton anyone?), and reading text with lots of u/v j/i substitutions.John BERRYMAN'S SHAKESPEARE is not much like Anthony BURGESS' SHAKESPEARE, though they are probably next to each other in most libraries.

Parts One and Two cover scattershot the entire Shakespearean oeuvre, including CARDENIO and SIR THOMAS MORE, with lots of historical dalliance.It is clear that Berryman knows his drama Elizabethan, and often the best insights are who was borrowing what plot from whom, if not what words.His take on HAMLET is standardly Freudian, but I did enjoy his heretical insights into ROMEO & JULIET and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM as well as his discussion of why the so-called historical 'tetralogies' are actually 'trilogies.'

Where this book is a must read, although admittedly for a small number of people, is in Berryman's writings on KING LEAR.The Introduction prepares you for the massive depth and critical brilliance that Berryman brought to his never-finished edition of the great play.For those who are excited to hear that Berryman has an arsenal of proof that Q was taken by shorthand during an actual performance, and includes changes the actors made in their lines, the Lear portions are a must.Covering about half the volume and including Berryman's correspondence with W.W. Greg, the discussion of Lear is a scholar's wet dream, a veritable barrage of evidence and counter-evidence, two tantalizing texts (Q and F) that may represent two equally authorial versions, i.e. Shakespeare rewrote Q to eliminate a character and streamline action for a performance in another context.

I have adressed my review to the various readers that may be approaching this book (Berryman fans: don't read; Shakespeare fans: maybe, Lear scholars: read-for-god's-sake-read-it). I hope that my recommendations prove useful.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Honie-tong'd" Berryman....
John Haffendon has done Shakespeare readers a great service with this compilation of poet John Berryman's writings and musings on Shakespeare, both the man and the dramatist. Included in this compendium are extensive excerpts from a projected biography of the bard; introductory fragments of an authoritative edition of King Lear; conjecture as to the identity of Mr. W.H. ("the onlie begetter" of the sonnets); as well as short essays on a number of plays, including The Comedy of Errors, King John, and Macbeth. As one might expect of a poet of his caliber, Berryman has a keen ear and an insightful intelligence. He calls Dogberry "the supreme and triumphant enemy of the English language"; he sizes upLady Macbeth as "unscrupulous, but short-winded," "single-natured...[b]ut nihilistic"; sonnet 135, he informs us, "is among the most indecent formal poems in English." Treasures such as these can be found throughout these wonderfully rich essays. Never intended for publication in this form, the book does contain a good deal of repetition: a comment regarding King Lear, for instance, or a supposition about Shakespeare's source reading will be mentioned here, repeated there. This does little, however to mar the surprising cohesiveness of the book; it very nearly reads as a completed volume. Haffendon does reveal a bit more than he should in the more-than-fifty-page introduction, giving away some of the surprises Berryman has in store for us. It might have made a more appropriate afterword. Similarly, "Letters on Lear,"--a bit overly pedantic and tedious--might have fitted better into an appendix, although it does offer a fascinating insight into the workaday efforts and integrity of a scholar like Berryman. The letters also contain at least one laugh-out-loud moment when the poet casually and parenthetically corrects Dr. W. W. Greg: "I am not `Dr.,' by the way." In the closing pages of this fascinating book, Berryman rewards us with a compelling meditation on the King of France's recollections of Bertram's father from All's Well That Ends Well. It is a striking passage, "nearly fifty lines, contributing nothing to the play" and without support in Shakespeare's sources, but nevertheless, asserts Berryman, "the most remarkable tribute in the whole Shakespearean canon." His thoughts on this passage (and others besides), offer the attentive student as much insight into Berryman and his works as into Shakespeare and his plays.

2-0 out of 5 stars Uh-huh?
A sideshow for serious students of Shakespeare; required reading only for the specialist who must read everything. Next to Harrison, a puny (and manic) contributor to scholarship.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fine Addition to Shakespeare Criticism
This posthumous collection of essays, letters, and unfinished writings by John Berryman is one of the most vivid and interesting works of Shakespearean literary criticism I've read. Berryman's insightful essay on "Shakespeare at Thirty" is alone worth the cover price. The real heart of the book is the author's lectures on Shakespeare's body of work, from the earliest comedies to "Shakespeare's Last Word" ("The Tempest"). While I disagree with some of Berryman's idiosyncratic readings, such as his endorsement of an Oedipal complex for Hamlet and his disparagement of "Much Ado About Nothing," I nevertheless found the book consistently interesting, always readable, and sometimes brilliant. I would rank it among the best general-interest books on Shakespeare in the last fifty years or so. Also recommended: Harold Goddard's two-volume THE MEANING OF SHAKESPEARE. ... Read more

17. John Berryman (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
Hardcover: 192 Pages (1989-04-01)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$45.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 155546310X
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

18. Dark Airs: John Berryman and the Spiritual Politics of Cold War American Poetry (Modern Poetry)
by Brendan Cooper
Paperback: 254 Pages (2009-06-15)
list price: US$66.95 -- used & new: US$62.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 3039118617
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

19. Pike on the Fly: The Flyfishermans Guide to Northerns, Tigers, and Muskies (Spring Creek Pr Bk)
by Barry Reynolds, John Berryman
Paperback: 160 Pages (1993-10)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$17.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1555661130
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Barry Reynolds and John Berryman use a seasonal approachto teach you everything you need to know to catch northerns, tigers,and muskies on a fly. There are chapters on pike gear, favorite pikeflies, fishing for trophy pike, and planning a trip to Canada, thepike angler’s mecca. Other chapters deal with flyfishing for pike inrivers, special tactics for tigers, and state-by-state pike fishinginformation, including top spots, state records, and stocking facts. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great details.
Barry provided the basics in his first book, this one finishes the deal. Great technique to offer and insight into this amazing fish and how to fly fish for it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I found this book extremely useful.I moved to Minnesota (land of pike) from New Mexico (land of trout).Very few people in Minnesota fly fish, and most that do fish only for trout.Because of this, it is very hard to find people to teach you what you will need to catch pike/muskie on the fly.I combined this book with one evening with a guide, and I am now catching pike.When I'm not catching fish, I now have a good understanding about what I should try changing.I'd be lost without this book.It has saved me years of trial and error.

After reading the book, I started taking a thermometer out with me while I fish.When the water is above about 70, I know my odds of catching a pike while wading are low so I switch to bass.

When you catch your first pike, you'll be hooked.Mine was a small pike, but it was larger than the biggest trout I ever caught.

5-0 out of 5 stars Muskie or Musky - great fish on the fly rod
If you are interested in catching a big musky (or muskies), or any pike,on a fly rod or other tackle this book is an excellent sourse of useful information on the fish, how to hunt them, what equipment you need and how to rig.Very worthwhile reading before a day on the water with a good guide.

5-0 out of 5 stars Think like a predator!
I had the privilege to work on a TV show called HIGH COUNTRY OUTDOORS with Barry the same year he and John wrote PIKE ON THE FLY. I devoured this book and still have it on my shelf in close reach. The techniques aren't just old hackneyed phrases but are true tested tactics gleaned from Barry's experiences. I know of no better way to understand the ways of flyfishing for pike and other large gamefish than to read this book over and over. I refer to it for much more than just pike and muskie, its a great handbook to have when I want to think like a fish.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pike on the Fly
I read this book then went to Canada fly fishing for Pike.I found out that Barry Reynolds knows fly fishing for Pike.Take the advice of this book and you WILL catch Pike, lots of Pike on a fly rod. ... Read more

20. Dream Song: The Life of John Berryman
by Paul Mariani
Paperback: 519 Pages (1996-03)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$22.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558490175
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars wah,wah

1-0 out of 5 stars Factually Wrong, Hyped Life
From the opening line that Berryman/Smith was 12 (he was 11) when his father committed suicide (doubtful, very doubtful) to the hyped up suicide-of-the-American poet, Mariani portays Berryman's life as a kind of cartoon. Mariani did not go to Oklahoma, where Berryman grew up to age 11, or to Florida where his father (supposedly) committed suicide. His research and documentation are not only suspect but also flat shallow.

5-0 out of 5 stars Talent and heartbreak
His father, cuckolded and bankrupt, shot himself under his son's bedroom window.

His mother, who could maybe spell the word "No," married the paramour.

The paramour adopted the boy.He went from being John Allyn Smith to John Berryman.The kid had his identity taken away before he was in his teens."John Berryman" was one of the great literary fictions of the 20th century.There WAS no John Berryman--there was someone using that name and forever in search of an identity born in pain and betrayal.

It led him to womanizing...not at all curious given his stepfather's and his mother's histories...to an hysterical disposition...and ultimately--or really for years--into incipient and then full-blown alcoholism.

Berryman jumped off that bridge on January 7, 1972, but he died of drinking.He'd been through detoxes and rehabs but he could never figure out how to stay sober.The compulsion was too strong.Ultimately, I suspect, it was his weapon of choice in a lifelong suicide attempt.The bridge simply ended the quest.

Mariani's book isn't just worth having, it's indispensible to understanding Berryman's work: unless you're one of those New Critical purists (are there any left?) who exclude biography from the study of literary production.There isn't much to say about it except it never bores the reader.Alcoholics are notoriously boring and dull people who repeat the same asininities over and over, but Mariani draws us into Berryman's inner life and shows us as well the effect he had on the people around him.It was not always negative...but when it was, it was appalling.

He also, by the way, shows us a great and difficult poet, not just a horse's ass with a gift for getting into trouble.Mariani's description of how Berryman composed "Homage to Mistress Bradstreet" is worth the price of the ticket.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Biography I Ever Read
I didn't know much about John Berryman despite being an English major in college. However, I ran across a magazine article about Paul Mariani and the series of biogrphies he wrote on American poets. It intrigued me enough to pick up Dream Song. All I can say is "WOW!!"
Mariani brings Berryman to life and what a life Berryman had. Yes, Berryman was self destructive but he was also brilliant. Mariani tells the story in such a poignant way that I found myself looking forward each night to the time I could spend reading this book.
If you like biographies, especially literary biographies, then treat yourself to this book. You might also read Mariani's other books. I read his book about Robert Lowell and that was well done. However, Berryman is my favorite of the two.

4-0 out of 5 stars i liked it
A good recount of all the pain (much of it self-induced) Berryman went through to be able to find the voice that emerged in the Dream Songs.His childhood, parents, education, heroes, friends, addictions...all of them given appropriate weight in this biography.If you like his poetry, you'll like this book. ... Read more

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats