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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 |

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.

Written by John Berryman |

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.

Written by John Berryman |

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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Written by John Berryman |

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.

Written by John Berryman |

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.

Written by John Berryman |

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.

Written by John Berryman |

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.

Written by John Berryman |

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'.

Written by John Berryman |

Dream Song 94: Ill lay he long upon this last return

 Ill lay he long, upon this last return,
The doctors put everything in the hospital into reluctant Henry and the nurses took it out & put it back, smiling like fiends, with their eternal 'we.
' Henry did a slow burn, collapsing his dialogue to their white ears & shiny on the flanges.
Sanka he drank until his memories blurred & Valerie was coming, lower he sank and lovely.
Teddy on his handlebars perched, her.
One word he heard insistent his broad shortcomings, then lay still.
That middle-sized wild man was ill.
A hospital is where it all has a use, so is a makar.
So is substantial God, tuning in from abroad.

Written by John Berryman |

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.

Written by John Berryman |

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.

Written by John Berryman |

Dream Song 97: Henry of Donnybrook bred like a pig

 Henry of Donnybrook bred like a pig,
bred when he was brittle, bred when big,
how he's sweating to support them.
Which birthday of the brighter darker man, the Goya of the Globe & Blackfriars, whom— our full earth smiled on him squeezing his old heart with a daughter loose (hostages they áre)—the world's produced, so far, alarms, alarms.
Fancy the chill & fatigue four hundred years award a warm one.
All we know is ears.
My slab lifts up its arms in a solicitude entire, too late.
Of brutal revelry gap your mouth to state: Front back & backside go bare! Cats' blackness, booze,blows, grunts, grand groans.
Yo-bad yõm i-oowaled bo v'ha'l lail awmer h're gawber! —Now, now, poor Bones.

Written by John Berryman |

Dream Song 45: He stared at ruin. Ruin stared straight back

 He stared at ruin.
Ruin stared straight back.
He thought they was old friends.
He felt on the stair where her papa found them bare they became familiar.
When the papers were lost rich with pals' secrets, he thought he had the knack of ruin.
Their paths crossed and once they crossed in jail; they crossed in bed; and over an unsigned letter their eyes met, and in an Asian city directionless & lurchy at two & three, or trembling to a telephone's fresh threat, and when some wired his head to reach a wrong opinion, 'Epileptic'.
But he noted now that: they were not old friends.
He did not know this one.
This one was a stranger, come to make amends for all the imposters, and to make it stick.
Henry nodded, un-.

Written by John Berryman |

Dream Song 133: As he grew famousâ€'ah but what is fame?

 As he grew famous—ah, but what is fame?—
he lost his old obsession with his name,
things seemed to matter less,
including the fame—a television team came
from another country to make a film of him
which did not him distress:

he enjoyed the hard work & he was good at that,
so they all said—the charming Englishman 
among the camera & the lights
mathematically wandered in his pub & livingroom
doing their duty, as too he did it,
but where are the delights

of long-for fame, unless fame makes him feel easy?
I am cold & weary, said Henry, fame makes me feel lazy,
yet i must do my best.
It doesn't matter, truly.
It doesn't matter truly.
It seems to be solely a matter of continuing Henry voicing & obsessed.

Written by John Berryman |

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.