6 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2016
    1. Henry is gone. No buffer. It’s down to ‘I’ now, the poet himself, alone. It is not one of Berryman’s better songs and there’s relatively little art to it, but its plainness renders grief more poignantly than the mirror and mask might have done.

      I think this "plainness" and baldness...this exposure of the bone is powerful and happens a lot in the later songs.

    2. There is a sharp falling off in His Toy, His Dream, His Rest, which contains a further 308 songs. The Henry mask begins to erode and with it the capacity for play and burlesque that manages to keep the poems buoyant instead of sinking into the self-indulgence typical of most of the ‘confessional’ poetry from the era. The later Dream Songs are reduced to grim reportage from the front

      The easy characterization which is, perhaps partly true. But this is overly dismissive.

    3. ‘Henry does resemble me,’ Berryman told an interviewer, ‘and I resemble Henry; but on the other hand I am not Henry. You know, I pay income tax. Henry pays no income tax. And bats come over and stall in my hair – and fuck them, I’m not Henry; Henry doesn’t have any bats.’

      The contradictions in Berryman's characterization (he doth protest too much)

    4. ‘I’m pretty much at sea about that book,’ she wrote to Lowell. ‘Some pages I find wonderful, some baffle me completely. I am sure he is saying something important – perhaps sometimes too personally.’

      Bishop got it...need to find complete context.

    5. Homage to Mistress Bradstreet is much admired and little read, its clotted syntax not permitting enough air to let the piece breathe. One feels the strain in its assemblage.

      Mistress Bradstreet syntax

    6. In 1960, while writing his Dream Songs, he railed against Eliot’s ‘intolerable and perverse theory of the impersonality of the artist’. By then, for Berryman/Henry it was very personal indeed.

      Evolution of Eliot's influence