Henry & Berryman, Berryman & Henry H.

Silence reigns at HG Poetics. Wuz happening?

Still working on long poem, Lanthanum. Rather than posting to the web, I'm sending it out in pieces to magazines.

Finally actually finished excellent Paul Mariani bio of John Berryman (Dream Song). (Must have started reading this about 20 yrs ago.) & have been delving into Berryman's work more closely.

He seems so different from me (his personality) in almost every way. Where he is tortured, I am calm. Terrible childhood, happy childhood. When he is fiery & mercurial, I'm subdued & detached. (He is "bored Henry" - I'm just... boring.) Different brands of negative capability, maybe. Where he struggles & works hard, I am complacent, lazy (everything comes easily, & always has). Well.... & he's famous, & I'm.... - might be a relation there.*

I note a few odd parallels & connections, however. Minneapolis. He lived at 33 Arthur Ave. in his last years, just a few blocks from where my parents have lived, early & late (I grew up on Arthur Street, myself). He jumped off the Washington Bridge on my grandfather's birthday, a few blocks from his house. Toward the end of his career (& life), he experienced charismatic religious experiences. This happened to me at the outset of my poetry "career." He taught at Brown briefly, a couple years before I arrived. & Edwin Honig assigned me the task of organizing the memorial reading there in his honor (1972).

& then there's the Huffy Henry factor...

*though some people might disagree with this self-assessment. My wife, for instance, would probably call me a nervous melancholic obsessive scribbler.

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