John Berryman

Literary Birthday – 25 October – John Berryman

John Berryman was born 25 October 1914, and died 7 January 1972.


  1. One must be ruthless with one’s own writing or someone else will be.
  2. We must travel in the direction of our fear.
  3. I didn’t want to be like Yeats; I wanted to be Yeats.
  4. 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.
  5. We have reason to be afraid. This is a terrible place.
  6. Bats have no bankers and they do not drink and cannot be arrested and pay no tax and, in general, bats have it made.
  7. 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.

Source for Image

Fair Use

John Allyn Berryman (October 25, 1914 – January 7, 1972), American poet and scholar. Photograph by Jerry Bauer.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 25th October 2014