John Berryman was born 25 October 1914, and died 7 January 1972
- One must be ruthless with one’s own writing or someone else will be.
- We must travel in the direction of our fear.
- I didn’t want to be like Yeats; I wanted to be Yeats.
- You should always be trying to write a poem you are unable to write, a poem you lack the technique, the language, the courage to achieve. Otherwise you’re merely imitating yourself, going nowhere, because that’s always easiest.
- We have reason to be afraid. This is a terrible place.
- Bats have no bankers and they do not drink and cannot be arrested and pay no tax and, in general, bats have it made.
- Literature bores me, especially great literature
John Berryman was an American poet, professor and scholar. He was a major figure in American poetry in the second half of the 20th century. His best-known work is The Dream Songs for which he won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.
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