NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Creepy Poetry Weirdness


I never expected to run across a Minneapolis connection in a book about poetry, but I was reading the other night from How to Read a Poem And Fall in Love with Poetry and ran across this:

"I think of a bitterly cold Minneapolis morning in January 1972, when John Berryman climbed onto the metal railing of the Washington Avenue Bridge and made a gesture as if waving before plunging into the river to his death." (p. 46, emphasis in original.)

John Berryman, I've since learned, "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" (Wikipedia), the river referred to is the Mississippi, and the Washington Avenue Bridge is only about a mile downriver from the 35W bridge that infamously collapsed. It's part of a popular marathon training route, and we drive by it every time we come home from a Timberwolves game. Here's a pic of the bridge Mr. Berryman chose to throw himself off of:


Now envision that same bridge in the middle of a Minnesota winter. I can't even imagine being that depressed. And, yes, I will now be buying one of his books, because that's just the sort of sick individual I am.



10 comments:

Rose City Reader said...

That is definitely creepy. An very sad.

I can't say as it inspires me to read his poems.

Lezlie said...

Rose City Reader ~ Very sad. I have to admit that I only want to read some more of them is because of this connection. The examples of his work in this book didn't bowl me over, but it is interesting. I'll most likely request the book from the library and just sample it a bit.

Lezlie

joanna said...

Hi Lezlie, are you learning to love poetry yet? ;-)

Lezlie said...

Joanna ~ I'm learning many poets seem(ed) to be a bit disturbed. :-) Love is a strong word. Let's just say I'm learning a better appreciation so far. I'm not quite ready to strike out on my own yet, but I'll be making an attempt at analysis of a poem sometime maybe this summer. *That* should be interesting. . . LOL!

Lezlie

Rebecca Reid said...

I have hirsch's book in my library loot!

Lezlie said...

Rebecca ~ It's a very good book. It's not quite as "beginner" as I had hoped for, but I'm still getting a lot out of it besides just morbid gossip. :-) It's one I will be able to refer to again later once I have a little more experience and will probably get even more out of it the second time around.

Lezlie

Serena said...

creepy, sad, and inspirational all wrapped up into one...thanks for this tidbit. I had no idea.

Lezlie said...

Serena ~ It got my attention, that's for sure. I had to dig around to get a little more information, because that one line was all Hirsch said about it!

Lezlie

Ladytink_534 said...

Well it's always interesting when you've been to a place mentioned in a book! Greg Isles' 24 Hours takes place mostly 30 minutes from where I'm sitting. My sister-in-law worked in the casino where some of the characters stay in the book.

Lezlie said...

Ladytink ~ I agree. It gives a whole different feel to it when you know exactly where they are. I have the same thing with John Sandford's Prey novels, as most of them take place in the Twin Cities.

Lezlie