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Analysis and comments on Dream Song 24: Oh servant Henry lectured till by John Berryman

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Comment 2 of 21, added on June 16th, 2009 at 4:03 PM.

I love how this one captures that sort of excitement and validation that
comes with being a teacher/speech-giver, knowledge-holder of some kind that
people, for whatever reason, grasp onto and salute and marvel at and trust.
Calling the audience “rainy lepers” might suggest their lack of
well-being, thus their thirst for his ideas. One of the best parts is when
he is “Beside himself, his possibilities”—really gives you a sense of how
when you are validated enthusiastically repeatedly it is possible to drum
up excitement for yourself and your role in the world. The reference to
him speaking in India and race bigotry makes me wonder about the political
implications of the poem, but I think I can still enjoy it without knowing
the full context—post imperialism relations with India? Does “lepers”
suggest the lecturer feels greater than the listeners, or that someone else
in the world does?

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Information about Dream Song 24: Oh servant Henry lectured till

Poet: John Berryman
Poem: 24. Dream Song 24: Oh servant Henry lectured till
Volume: 77 Dream Songs
Year: 1964
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 760 times
Poem of the Day: Oct 29 2004

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