Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Driving a Pack of Hounds

Most of my students have left for home already. I do have a 6:00 class which I must get to in just a moment--maybe there are one or two students left who need me. In between classes, I've been reading about the poet John Berryman, one of the "confessional" poets I plan to discuss in "From Angst to Art" next semester. In the Introduction to Berryman's collected poems, Charles Thornbury reveals that Berryman was a man of great intensity, even when he read. In a letter to his mother, Berryman describes reading Crime and Punishment:

How shall I tell you how I am reading it? As if I were driving a pack of hounds through a wood, feverishly; only every tree and bush is so unbearably interesting and exciting that I'd like to stop and examine it for a long time, but the hounds are off ahead and won't stop. ... My faculties are raging out in front of me. I haven't felt so powerfully in a long time. Even my unhappiness is acute, sharp, engaging.

Here, I think, Berryman does describe what it feels like to read a great book.


Cynthia said...

Here, I think, Berryman does describe what it feels like to read a great book.

Indeed. He does so perfectly.

dreaminglily said...

True... it's exactly like that...




About Me

My photo
Northwest Ohio, United States
"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken


Search This Blog

Epistle, by Archibald MacLeish

What I'm Listening To

My Music

Great Artists

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from theresarrt7. Make your own badge here.

Fave Painting: Eden

Fave Painting:  Eden

Fave Painting: The Three Ages of Man and Death

Fave Painting:  The Three Ages of Man and Death
by Albrecht Dürer

From the First Chapter

The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

My Original Artwork: Triptych

My Original Artwork:  Triptych



Little Deer

Little Deer



Looking Forward, Looking Back

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Blog Archive