Book Review: The Dream Songs by John Berryman

Since I’ve been writing more poetry, I’ve been reading more poetry lately. I’ve read some newer stuff, but I’ve also been reading many of the classics, including William Blake, T.S. Eliot, and W.B. Yeats.

I recently read an anthology of 20th century American poetry that was comprehensive regarding the poets it included. One of the poets that struck me the most was John Berryman, and the anthology included poems from his much-celebrated volume called The Dream Songs.

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Durable People (a poem)

we are durable people

roughing thru pandemics,

storms, & various other

upheavals toppling

societal norms

the breaking point

must come sooner

rather than later

when frozen pipes,

price gougers, &

relentless deliriums

make folks show

true stripes

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Would you Help me? (a poem)

Would you help me if I was in trouble?

Would you be tender?

Would you be like the good Samaritan in the bible?

Would you wipe the drool off my bruised mouth?

Would you carry me on the battlefield?

Would you feed me?

Would you listen to me talk of how I’ve wasted my life?

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