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John Berryman’s “Dream Song 14”

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Dream Tune

This composition, friends, is definitely boring. The complete work seeks to illustrate the idea that “life, friends, is boring. inch It does therefore by being itself tremendously uninteresting. Though the publisher occasionally uses exciting or perhaps interesting phrases, such as “flash and desire, ” this individual does so only inside the pursuit of bigger boredom simply by showing that even these types of words may be sucked into a context which ultimately yields a wish for death. There exists nothing but dullness. In the poem, the narrator subsumes the conventions of interesting poems and dons, as it were, the form of the half-decent modern poem. Nevertheless , he actively avoids enabling any of the elegant to slip into his job, thus leaving this form an excellent source of poetry useless and uninteresting. By structuring his composition in a modern day conventional style, maintaining a detached and uninterested develop throughout, and by setting the work within a thoroughly decrepit and stale upper-class European environment, John Berryman invites us to explore the gruesome depths of a truly boring life and boring poem.

As far as the structure on this “Dream Music 14” will go, the crafting is the two straightforward and uninvolved. The poem can be comprised of 3 stanzas of six lines each. These stanzas vary in length and complexity, generally following a tri-line pattern by which each stanza is cracked into two mini-stanzas, every single beginning with two longer lines followed by a shorter third line. The seeming irregularity of the stanzas, alternating long and brief phrases inside the stanza and frequently practicing enjambment, are designed to give the illusion of a jagged, edgy, and exciting poem. However , the way in which this irregularity is actually formulaic and regular belies its claim to excitement, and so performing underscores the narrator’s stage that your life, like this composition, is indeed uninteresting. The tempo too generally seems to mimic better works, however fails to possess any achievement of a unique. For a instant it seems to become defying meeting with a kind of arhythmic, jazzy feel. Nevertheless , an astute reader will begin to notice that instead of establish either a defiant non-rhythm or a quirky original type of offbeat counterpoint style, the poem passade around the edges of pentameter without ever either committing to or perhaps truly rebelling against it. All in all this kind of poem appears to be trying to assume a sophisticated type of ennui, as though it were written by a jaded Dorian Gray who also at once mimicked and laughed at what the universe considered to be accurate art. This sense of ennui is definitely carried through in the séduction of a kind of faux avant-garde style. Berryman uses incorrect capitalization, regular ampersands, and unusual punctuation in an attempt to portray this design, though however he leaves the work seeming more like it has been authored by a skilled 5th grader student who recently read e. elizabeth. cummings or perhaps, more likely, Shel Silverstein. Examples of this pseudo-experimental writing incorporate his miscapitalization of “achilles, ” ampersand-based phrases including “itself their tail” and punctuation including “behind: myself, wag. inch

Like most poetry, this poem is in motion – to be more exact, it seems to feel as if promoted should be in motion if it could merely find the impetus to get off its rump and get moving. The narrative starts by saying life is uninteresting, and goes on that idea with ever less coherent reasoning until it concludes that life is thus uninvolving because the hills are vaguely reminiscent of dogs, plus the author (it appears) yearns for his own absent doggy. At the incredibly end, as the narrator puzzles over the significance of hills just like dogs currently taking themselves aside, he appears to come to the slow recognition that -like a dog- he himself is only wagging his tongue on regarding nothing, and shouldn’t even bother of talking as he is really as boring as everything him self. This thought is very valuable, for it implies that the author finally grasps the particular reader experienced figured out in the past – that he offers nothing much original to state, and that all his “wag” wit can be nothing basically than an appendage on the dog’s buttocks. This understanding is produced slowly. In the beginning the narrator seems to be fighting against his thesis that life is uninteresting, as he remarks that “After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns, as well as we themselves flash and yearn… inches Yet it seems some inner voice is usually arguing against this theory, intended for he quickly has to buttress it with an charm not to characteristics but to authority, as he says: “moreover my own mother explained as a boy / (repeatingly) “Ever to confess you’re bored / means you could have no / / Internal Resources. ‘ ” Yet one’s mom’s fine claims cannot stop boredom, they can only produce one experience guilty about this. He is almost certainly very proper that he has no inner resources, pertaining to no better reason than that his mother obviously never educated him how to overcome boredom, only how to avoid praying it. With this, the argument has ended, and the narrator promptly moves into listing the generally interesting subjects which in turn now weary him. People bore him, as does superb literature, which fellow known as Henry (who one presumes is either aged or only melodramatic). This individual even seems to imply that becoming interested in the earth may be a form of weakness, as he speaks of Henry getting in as many problems as Achilles (whose term he fails to capitalize) due to his like for people and art. This individual also is apparently bored by the “tranquil hills, gin, inches which look like a drag and a dog. This long list of boring points clearly signifies both that he has not very deeply explored the things that bore him – in fact, had this individual done so he would have learned there is more to Henry than grips, even more to fine art than the historical classics, and even more to the outrageous hills than tranquility – and also that he has no real involvement in doing so. All this talk of dullness is just jabber, and the visitor soon discovers where the narrator’s ability to knowledge and the excite has gone, for doing it “has considered itself it is tail considerably away into mountains or sea or perhaps sky, inch which is to declare the natural world by itself feels pleasure without him. In the end, it would appear that the dog – which may represent his capacity to find interior resources, or maybe it is just emblematic of the do it yourself which could relate freely with all the natural globe and find which means in that existence – leaves him with nothing to perform but wag on, tailless and dogless. Of course , this entire progression is not particularly initial or interesting – a single sees this type of thing every day from spoiled, burnt away artists who can neither locate meaning anytime nor in death – and this insufficient originality is usually precisely what proves his central point. That central stage, of course , is the fact life is monotonous and this poem is a perfect sort of why.

Though Berryman himself is American, the poem has a especially European experience to it. There is a specific culture impression to the function that recalls to mind the post-decadent, post-world war hopelessness and overarching apathy that worked on many of the youth of Europe. There are certain slang words and phrases such as wag (and the implied usage of “heel” regarding Achilles getting annoying) that are particularly European. The “tranquil hills, gin” quotes may seem like an offhanded literary mention of the “Hills Like White Elephants, ” which is particularly Western european oriented (though not going on in Europe). Though at a stretch one could contemplate it as an American piece, seeing as it is by simply

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