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Dream Song 14 -- John Berryman

Guest poem sent in by Howard Weinberg
(Poem #1368) Dream Song 14
 Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
 After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
 we ourselves flash and yearn,
 and moreover my mother told me as a boy
 (repeatingly) "Ever to confess you're bored
 means you have no

 Inner Resources." I conclude now I have no
 inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
 Peoples bore me,
 literature bores me, especially great literature,
 Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
 as bad as Achilles,

 who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
 And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
 and somehow a dog
 has taken itself & its tail considerably away
 into the mountains or sea or sky, leaving
 behind: me, wag.
-- John Berryman
There are many things to love about this poem-- here are a few. The wonderful
turn of "we ourselves flash and yearn". The great pun at the end. The way the
poem aspire to both irony and kindness, without ever choosing sides. How daring
to say "life, friends, is boring", to make it stick, to be a poet, for crying
out loud, and still make it stick. And yet to undercut itself with "as bad as
Achilles" knowing only someone who loves literature could be so shocked not to
find rewards in it-- and so we know that there is some deeper underlying
tragedy, perhaps as fully formed as the Illiad, yet otherwise unspoken.

Howard Weinberg

39 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Anna Marie Bohmann said...

I, too, have concluded I have no Inner Resources.
I now resort instead to Outer Resources, in the form of Berryman (who oddly
enough, does not bore me...)

Rebekah Claire Doroszenko said...

What a refreshing change from the usual 'life is wonderful, I am wonderful'
idealism that passes for Inner Honesty. I defy anyone not to feel they have
Inner Resources of an empty Saturday afternoon. That part is simple enough.
If you can then make beauty of boredom, my son, you are great.

Anonymous said...

John Berryman is a very moody person.
His Dream Songs are all, different....
And some lines I don't understand at all, but I still think they're great

Anonymous said...

hes a niggggaaaa

viagra online said...

What the hell... this is a deppressing poem... it's to depressing for been a poem, how they let you upload this haha anyway thanks for share, I guess that we really are alone in all our way.

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