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Selected Poems 1938-1968

John Berryman

The Selected Poems 1938-1968 of John Berryman, chosen by the poet himself, reveals clearly that the poet’s work extends far beyond The Dream Songs, and establishes him as one of the most original and important American poets of the twentieth century.

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Some months before his tragic death in January 1972, John Berryman completed this selection from the whole of his published poetry. He designed it to provide both an introduction to his work and a summary of his poetic career up to the publication of Love and Fame. It reveals clearly that Berryman was one of the most original and important poets of the twentieth century.


John Berryman (1914-72) was born John Smith in McAlester, Oklahoma, and educated at Colombia College and Cambridge University. He later held posts at Harvard and Princeton, before taking up a professorship at the University of Minnesota.He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1965 for 77 Dream Songs, and he continued to build upon this series of poems, publishing the end result,…

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