Book details

77 Dream Songs

Poems

FSG Classics

Author: John Berryman; Edited by Daniel Swift; Introduction by Henri Cole

77 Dream Songs

77 Dream Songs

$16.00

About This Book

A wild, masterful Pulitzer Prize-winning cycle of poems that half a century later still shocks and astounds
John Berryman was hardly unknown when he published 77 Dream Songs,...

Page Count
112
On Sale
10/21/2014

Book Details

A wild, masterful Pulitzer Prize-winning cycle of poems that half a century later still shocks and astounds
John Berryman was hardly unknown when he published 77 Dream Songs, but the volume was, nevertheless, a shock and a revelation. A "spooky" collection in the words of Robert Lowell-"a maddening work of genius."
As Henri Cole notes in his elegant, perceptive introduction, Berryman had discovered "a looser style that mixed high and low dictions with a strange syntax." Berryman had also discovered his most enduring alter ego, a paranoid, passionate, depressed, drunk, irrepressible antihero named Henry or, sometimes, Mr. Bones: "We touch at certain points," Berryman claimed, of Henry, "But I am an actual human being."
Henry may not be real, but he comes alive on the page. And while the most famous of the Dream Songs begins, "Life, friends, is boring," these poems never are. Henry lusts: seeing a woman "Filling her compact & delicious body / with chicken páprika" he can barely restrain himself: "only the fact of her husband & four other people / kept me from springing on her." Henry despairs: "All the world like a woolen lover / once did seem on Henry's side. / Then came a departure." Henry, afraid of his own violent urges, consoles himself: "Nobody is ever missing."
77 Dream Songs
won the Pulitzer Prize in 1965, but Berryman's formal and emotional innovations-he cracks the language open, creates a new idiom in which to express eternal feelings-remain as alive and immediate today as ever.

Imprint Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN

9780374534523

In The News

The Dream Songs . . . [is] indeed, the most entertaining American long poem written this century.” —Nicholas Everett, The London Review of Books

About the Creators

77 Dream Songs

77 Dream Songs

$16.00