Books That Inspire 2007


 
The Dream Songs
John Berryman


One of the most important U.S. poets of the second half of the twentieth century, John Berryman (born John Allyn Smith in McAlester, OK; 1912-74) was also a distinguished critic, scholar, and teacher. He is best known for what is widely considered his masterpiece, the groundbreaking verse collection The Dream Songs, which offers the combined texts of 77 Dream Songs and His Toy, His Dream, His Rest.

The 385 sonnet-like poems that constitute The Dream Songs offer a vast range of subject matter, diction, and tone in which Berryman takes the reader from the depths of despair to ecstatic heights as he explores the human soul and psyche. Reading this highly inventive, idiosyncratic , and challenging collection offers singular proof of why Berryman, the only Oklahoman to have won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, continues to command attention both in the United States and abroad.
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David Draper Clark
Editor in Chief
World Literature Today