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Analysis and comments on The Ball Poem by John Berryman

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Comment 6 of 306, added on May 21st, 2009 at 9:43 PM.

this is one hot delcicious story about little children. I love the part
where the kids father puts his sons balls in his mouth. MMMMMMMMMM. Wish I
could have a taste!

harry from Barbados
Comment 5 of 306, added on June 3rd, 2007 at 4:01 PM.

See how you laugh at the poem when you get a little older and begin to
understand what it's about. Age happens to everybody, and it is unfortunate
you are considered an AP student, in my opinion. As for your teacher, he or
she is the only "atrocious excuse" I see from your post and probably
belongs in a high school, among such delusional idiots as you and your
"gifted" fellow students.

Cswart from United States
Comment 4 of 306, added on May 10th, 2007 at 3:10 PM.

Oh my Lord this poem is awesome. I especially loved the part about balls. I
love balls. Espescially in my mouth. Suck on my chocolate salty balls

Billy Bob from Canada
Comment 3 of 306, added on October 28th, 2005 at 1:32 PM.

Too true, Amish. This is a wonderful poem that expresses not only the loss
of childhood, as fred said, but the feeling of loss that will plague a
human for the rest of his life after learning "first responsibility in a
world of possessions." Berryman says that one must resign oneself to such
an idea of loss in order to continually pick oneself up and live. I love
the alliteration at the end with the "m" sound. "I suffer and move, my mind
and my heart move/with all that move me." How excellent is that! What a
great feeling of movement as the subject of the poem is about suffering
loss, yet continuing to move, to live, to accept more responsibility even
if it is painful? Emily, I suggest you run as fast as you can away from the
teacher that openly laughed with you about this poem in class and continue
to explore poetry with poeple who don't substitute laughter for a genuine
attempt at understanding. By the way, most good poetry is and always has
been realized in the "attempt to make a trivial event seem meaningful"as
you say. Good luck in the future, but get some help for your sake, please!

sean from United States
Comment 2 of 306, added on September 11th, 2005 at 11:40 PM.

Only a high school class could laugh at John Berryman or anything he's
written.

Amish from United States
Comment 1 of 306, added on June 2nd, 2005 at 3:38 PM.

Yesterday I made the mistake of reading this poem aloud in my AP English
class. My classmates, teacher, and I all got a good laugh out of this
atrocious excuse for poetry. "The Ball Poem" could possibly be the worst
poem I have ever read in my life. Although it is terribly written and an
awful attempt to make a trivial event seem meaningful, it is quite
humorous. The humor only lies in the hilarity that many find this poem to
be a work of art! Enjoy

Emily from United States
Comment 0 of 306, added on April 14th, 2005 at 4:29 AM.

This poem expresses the poet's inability to cope with the suicide of his
father when he was only 8 years old and his continual contemplation of his
own suicide (which was accomplished by jumping into the harbor from the
Washington Avenue Bridge.

Brenda Watton from United States
Comment -1 of 306, added on October 25th, 2004 at 11:52 PM.

i think that the ball poem is about ageing. The ball is a metaphor for
childhood/youth and when the ball is losr in the harbour (which could be
symbolic of memoies) the boy starts learning the responsibilities of
growing up. essentially the poem is about the swiftness of time and how
once childhood is lost, it will never return.

fred from United States

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
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Information about The Ball Poem

Poet: John Berryman
Poem: The Ball Poem
Volume: Collected Poems 1937-1971
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 1156 times
Poem of the Day: Nov 23 2012


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