Saxophonist outside Duomo di Milano
Hearing John Berryman read his poetry changed my life, as I said a while back. I was in college at the time. A year later, he was dead—a suicide (jumping off a bridge in Minneapolis, where he lived and taught). Here, in Dublin in 1967, he reads one of his Pulitzer-Prize-winning Dream Songs (29). Drunk, mannered, idiosyncratic: yes, yes, yes. Obscure at times to the point of opacity: yes. But also (to these ears) exquisitely controlled, deeply moving, utterly unforgettable.
(Want to read this yourself? Here.)