John Berryman

John Berryman, Author, Charles Thornbury, Editor Farrar Straus Giroux $25 (366p) ISBN 978-0-374-12619-3
For readers unattuned to what Thornbury here calls ``Berryman's strange and dissonant music,'' this gathering of verse may unlock the poems' inner recesses. In his extensive introductory essay, the editor, who teaches at St. John's University in Minnesota, explores Berryman's poetry of disrupted syntax, of continual deaths and rebirths, of self-deceptions and ultimate self-understanding. He also provides a biographical context for the sonnets, satires and confessionals, taking into account the poet's peripatetic boyhood, his suppressed rage at his father's suicide, his metamorphoses as Cambridge don, alcoholic philanderer, itinerant professor-poet and suicide at age 57. Berry displayed his febrile inventiveness as early as Sonnets to Chris (1947), a cycle included here that is by turns romantically tender, cynical, manic, elegant and slangy; this edition brings together all of Berryman's published volumes of poetry except for The Dream Songs. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Paperback - 420 pages - 978-0-374-52281-0
Hardcover - 200 pages - 978-1-931082-69-3
Open Ebook - 366 pages - 978-1-4668-7958-4
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