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John Berryman

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Biography

John Allyn Berryman (originally John Allyn Smith) (25 October 1914 – 7 January 1972) was an American poet, born in McAlester, Oklahoma. He was a major figure in American poetry in the second half of the 20th century and often considered one of the founders of the Confessional school of poetry. He was the author of The Dream Songs, which are playful, witty, and morbid. Berryman committed suicide in 1972.

Of his youthful self he said, ‘I didn’t want to be like Yeats; I wanted to be Yeats.’

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