Cover image for Berryman's understanding : reflections on the poetry of John Berryman
Berryman's understanding : reflections on the poetry of John Berryman
Thomas, Harry, 1952-
Publication Information:
Boston : Northeastern University Press, [1988]

Physical Description:
xxi, 259 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3503.E744 Z565 1988 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Since this lively collection of interviews, memoirs, and critical essays is the first to appear on John Berryman, a major poet, it would be welcome even if it were not so well done. The two interviews are the most revealing of the many that Berryman gave, and the memoirs and critical essays are distinguished by a high level of writing and insight. With any anthology, one inevitably regrets exclusions, but here one does not regret any inclusions, and that is a fairer test. Editor Harry Thomas has included memoirs by fellow writers Robert Lowell, Saul Bellow, and William Meredith, and an excerpt from the luminous memoir by Berryman's first wife, Eileen Simpson; these convey a vivid sense of Berryman's complex and often turbulent personality. In selecting critical essays, Thomas covered every stage of Berryman's development, with emphasis on his major work, The Dream Songs (CH, Jun '70). The essays are notable for their critical acuity and verve. The resulting collection, including a few essays presenting negative assessments of Berryman's achievement, is consistently readable and surprisingly coherent. This handsome volume also includes a useful bibliography and index. Highly recommended for undergraduate and graduate libraries. T. Travisano Hartwick College