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Posts Tagged ‘Theodore Roethke’

A Partial List of Things John Berryman Found Delicious

July 31, 2013 | by


  • Saul Bellow’s “Leaving the Yellow House”[1]
  • His own poetry[2]
  • Autolycus of The Winter’s Tale, deemed an “irrelevance”[3]
  • “Bunny,” met in London[4]
  • The Irish, who “all speak English and are blazing with self-respect”[5]
  • A stone[6]
  • A breeze[7]
  • Theodore Roethke’s detail[8]
  • A tribute, written by T. S. Eliot, about Ralph Hodgson[9]
  • Dialogue in Don Quixote[10]
  • An unspecified “new taste sensation”[11]
  • Your “end”[12]
  • An unspecified “author,” also “rational & passionate”[13]
  • The body of a married woman, seen in a restaurant[14]
  • His friend Ernest Milton Halliday’s marks at Columbia University[15]
  • Risk[16]

[1] Saul Bellow’s foreward to Recovery/Delusions, Etc.
[2] Saul Bellow’s foreward to Recovery/Delusions, Etc.
[3] Berryman’s Shakespeare
[4] Dream Song: The Life of John Berryman
[5] Dream Song: The Life of John Berryman
[6] “Dream Song 121”
[7] “Dream Song 339”
[8] Freedom of the Poet
[9] Freedom of the Poet
[10] Freedom of the Poet
[11] “Gislebertus’ Eve”
[12] “Shirley & Auden”
[13] “A Prayer for the Self”
[14] “Dream Song 4”
[15] John Berryman and the Thirties: A Memoir
[16] Stephen Crane

Elon Green is a freelance writer who oftentimes contributes to The Awl.



“repeat, repeat, repeat; revise, revise, revise”: Poets Mourning Poets

November 19, 2012 | by

“I used to want to live / to avoid your elegy,” Robert Lowell confessed in “For John Berryman.”

The death of one poet is an extraordinary occasion for another poet. It is like the day a stonemason dies and another has to carve his headstone. Like a rough ashlar, the elegy sits waiting to be shaped into a memorial for the one who is gone. The death of a poet so great as Jack Gilbert last week pains, but also promises remembrances fitting the one who died.

Gilbert devoted most of his elegies to his wife, Michiko Nogami, but poets have forever elegized one another. We can trace the canon through the poems that poets have written to mourn their own: Henri Cole grieving Elizabeth Bishop; Bishop remembering Robert Lowell; Lowell lamenting the death of John Berryman; Berryman longing for Roethke, Jarrell, Hughes, Plath, Schwartz, and William Carlos Williams; W.H. Auden elegizing Yeats; Shelley bemoaning the loss of Keats; all the way back to Ovid mourning Orpheus.

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