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Best Famous John Berryman Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous John Berryman poems. This is a select list of the best famous John Berryman poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous John Berryman poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of John Berryman poems.

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Written by John Berryman | Create an image from this poem

Dream Song 105: As a kid I believed in democracy: I

 As a kid I believed in democracy: I
'saw no alternative'—teaching at The Big Place I ah
put it in practice:
we'd time for one long novel: to a vote—
Gone with the Wind they voted: I crunched 'No'
and we sat down with War & Peace.
As a man I believed in democracy (nobody ever learns anything): only one lazy day my assistant, called James Dow, & I were chatting, in a failure of meeting of minds, and I said curious 'What are your real politics?' 'Oh, I'm a monarchist.
' Finishing his dissertation, in Political Science.
I resign.
The universal contempt for Mr Nixon, whom never I liked but who alert & gutsy served us years under a dope, since dynasty K swarmed in.
Let's have a King maybe, before a few mindless votes.
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Dream Song 31: Henry Hankovitch con guítar

 Henry Hankovitch, con guítar,
did a short Zen pray,
on his tatami in a relaxed lotos
fixin his mind on nuffin, rose-blue breasts,
and gave his parnel one French kiss;
enslaving himself he withdrew from his blue

Florentine leather case an Egyptian black
& flickt a zippo.
Henry & Phoebe happy as cockroaches in the world-kitchen woofed, with all away.
The International flame, like despair, rose or like the foolish Paks or Sudanese Henry Hankovitch, con guítar, did a praying mantis pray who even more obviously than the increasingly fanatical Americans cannot govern themselves.
Swedes don't exist, Scandanavians in general do not exist, take it from there.
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Dream Song 106: 28 July

 28 July

Calmly, while sat up friendlies & made noise
delight fuller than he can ready sing
or studiously say,
on hearing that the year had swung to pause
and culminated in an abundant thing,
came his Lady's birthday.
Dogs fill daylight, doing each other ill: my own in love was lugged so many blocks we had to have a vet.
Comes unrepentant round the lustful mongrel again today, glaring at her bandages & locks: his bark has grit.
This screen-porch where my puppy suffers and I swarm I hope with heartless love is now towards the close of day the scene of a vision of friendlies who withstand animal nature so far as to allow grace awhile to stay.
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Dream Song 119: Fresh-shaven past months and a picture in New York

 Fresh-shaven, past months & a picture in New York
of Beard Two, I did have Three took off.
Shadow & act, shadow & act, Better get white or you' get whacked, or keep so-called black & raise new hell.
I've had enough of this dying.
You've done me a dozen goodnesses; get well.
Fight again for our own.
Henry felt baffled, in the middle of the thing.
He spent his whole time in Ireland on the Book of Kells, the jackass, made of bone.
No tremor, no perspire: Heaven is here now, in Minneapolis.
It's easier to vomit than it was, beardless.
There's always the cruelty of scholarship.
I once was a slip.
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Dream Song 324: An Elegy for W.C.W. the lovely man

 Henry in Ireland to Bill underground:
Rest well, who worked so hard, who made a good sound
constantly, for so many years:
your high-jinks delighted the continents & our ears:
you had so many girls your life was a triumph
and you loved your one wife.
At dawn you rose & wrote—the books poured forth— you delivered infinite babies, in one great birth— and your generosity to juniors made you deeply loved, deeply: if envy was a Henry trademark, he would envy you, especially the being through.
Too many journeys lie for him ahead, too many galleys & page-proofs to be read, he would like to lie down in your sweet silence, to whom was not denied the mysterious late excellence which is the crown of our trials & our last bride.
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Dream Song 66: All virtues enter into this world:)

 'All virtues enter into this world:')
A Buddhist, doused in the street, serenely burned.
The Secretary of State for War, winking it over, screwed a redhaired whore.
Monsignor Capovilla mourned.
What a week.
A journalism doggy took a leak against absconding coon ('but take one virtue, without which a man can hardly hold his own') the sun in the willow shivers itself & shakes itself green-yellow (Abba Pimen groaned, over the telephone, when asked what that was:) How feel a fellow then when he arrive in fame but lost? but affable, top-shelf.
Quelle sad semaine.
He hardly know his selving.
('that a man') Henry grew hot, got laid, felt bad, survived ('should always reproach himself'.
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Dream Song 113: or Amy Vladeck or Riva Freifeld

 or Amy Vladeck or Riva Freifeld

That isna Henry limping.
That's a hobble clapped on mere Henry by the most high GOD for the freedom of Henry's soul.
—The body's foul, cried god, once, twice, & bound it— For many years I hid it from him successfully— I'm not clear how he found it But now he has it—much good may it do him in the vacant spiritual of space— only Russians & Americans to as it were converse with—weel, one Frenchman to liven up the airless with one nose & opinions clever & grim.
God declared war on Valerie Trueblood, against Miss Kaplan he had much to say O much to say too.
My memory of his kindness comes like a flood for which I flush with gratitude; yet away he shouldna have put down Miss Trueblood.
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Dream Song 172: Your face broods

 Your face broods from my table, Suicide.
Your force came on like a torrent toward the end of agony and wrath.
You were christened in the beginning Sylvia Plath and changed that name for Mrs Hughes and bred and went on round the bend till the oven seemed the proper place for you.
I brood upon your face, the geography of grief, hooded, till I allow again your resignation from us now though the screams of orphaned children fix me anew.
Your torment here was brief, long falls your exit all repeatingly, a poor exemplum, one more suicide, to stack upon the others till stricken Henry with his sisters & brothers suddenly gone pauses to wonder why he alone breasts the wronging tide.
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Dream Song 79: Op. posth. no. 2

 Whence flew the litter whereon he was laid?
Of what heroic stuff was warlock Henry made?
and questions of that sort
perplexed the bulging cosmos, O in short
was sandalwood in good supply when he
flared out of history

& the obituary in The New York Times
into the world of generosity
creating the air where are
& can be, only, heroes? Statues & rhymes
signal his fiery Passage, a mountainous sea,
the occlusion of a star:

anything afterward, of a high lament,
let too his giant faults appear, as sent
together with his virtues down
and let this day be his, throughout the town,
region & cosmos, lest he freeze our blood
with terrible returns.
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The Curse

 Oh, lay my ashes on the wind
That blows across the sea.
And I shall meet a fisherman Out of Capri, And he will say, seeing me, "What a Strange Thing! Like a fish's scale or a Butterfly's wing.
" Oh, lay my ashes on the wind That blows away the fog.
And I shall meet a farmer boy Leaping through the bog, And he will say, seeing me, "What a Strange Thing! Like a peat-ash or a Butterfly's wing.
" And I shall blow to YOUR house And, sucked against the pane, See you take your sewing up And lay it down again.
And you will say, seeing me, "What a strange thing! Like a plum petal or a Butterfly's wing.
" And none at all will know me That knew me well before.
But I will settle at the root That climbs about your door, And fishermen and farmers May see me and forget, But I'll be a bitter berry In your brewing yet.
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Dream Song 112: My framework is broken I am coming to an end

 My framework is broken, I am coming to an end,
God send it soon.
When I had most to say my tongue clung to the roof I mean of my mouth.
It is my Lady's birthday which must be honoured, and has been.
God send it soon.
I now must speak to my disciples, west and east.
I say to you, Do not delay I say, expectation is vain.
I say again, It is my Lady's birthday which must be honoured.
Bring her to the test at once.
I say again, It is my Lady's birthday which must be honoured, for her high black hair but not for that alone: for every word she utters everywhere shows her good soul, as true as a healed bone,— being part of what I meant to say.
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Dream Song 84: Op. posth. no. 7

 Plop, plop.
The lobster toppled in the pot, fulfilling, dislike man, his destiny, glowing fire-red, succulent, and on the whole becoming what man wants.
I crack my final claw singly, wind up the grave, & to bed.
—Sound good, Mr Bones.
I wish I had me some.
(I spose you got a lessen up your slave.
) —O no no no.
Sole I remember; where no lobster swine,— pots hot or cold is none.
With you I grieve lightly, and I have no lesson.
Bodies are relishy, they say.
Here's mine, was.
What ever happened to Political Economy, leaving me here? Is a rare—in my opinion—responsibility.
The military establishments perpetuate themselves forever.
Have a bite, for a sign.
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Dream Song 136: While his wife earned the living Rabbi Henry

 While his wife earned the living, Rabbi Henry
studied the Torah, writing commentaries
more likely to be burnt than printed.
It was rumoured that they needed revision.
Smiling, kissing, he bent his head not with 'Please' but with austere requests barely hinted, like a dog with a bone he worried the Sacred Book and often taught its fringes.
Imperishable enthusiasms.
I have only one request to make of the Lord, that I may no longer have to earn my living as a rabbi 'Thou shalt make unto thee any graven image' The sage said 'I merit long life if only because I have never left bread-crumbs lying on the ground.
We were tested yesterday & are sound, Henry's lady & Henry.
It all centered in the end on the suicide in which I am an expert, deep & wide.
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The Ball Poem

 What is the boy now, who has lost his ball,
What, what is he to do? I saw it go
Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then
Merrily over—there it is in the water!
No use to say 'O there are other balls':
An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy
As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down
All his young days into the harbour where
His ball went.
I would not intrude on him, A dime, another ball, is worthless.
Now He senses first responsibility In a world of possessions.
People will take balls, Balls will be lost always, little boy, And no one buys a ball back.
Money is external.
He is learning, well behind his desperate 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 And gradually light returns to the street A whistle blows, the ball is out of sight, Soon part of me will explore the deep and dark Floor of the harbour .
I am everywhere, I suffer and move, my mind and my heart move With all that move me, under the water Or whistling, I am not a little boy.
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The Traveller

 They pointed me out on the highway, and they said
'That man has a curious way of holding his head.
' They pointed me out on the beach; they said 'That man Will never become as we are, try as he can.
' They pointed me out at the station, and the guard Looked at me twice, thrice, thoughtfully & hard.
I took the same train that the others took, To the same place.
Were it not for that look And those words, we were all of us the same.
I studied merely maps.
I tried to name The effects of motion on the travellers, I watched the couple I could see, the curse And blessings of that couple, their destination, The deception practised on them at the station, Their courage.
When the train stopped and they knew The end of their journey, I descended too.