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Unformatted text preview: About the Poet John Berryman, a talented scholar driven to write poetry, is best known for transforming his personal suffering into verse. Like Robert Frost and Randall Jarrell, he loved teaching poetry and felt most at home with literature and the humanities. For his own composition, he was adept at the song and sonnet but preferred large dramatic roles that altered his identity. He was influenced by Gerard Manley Hopkins, W. H. Auden, William Butler Yeats, and e. e. cummings; his aberrant syntax and multilevel language produced a poetic exhibitionism consistent with a flawed past and troubled mind. At his birth on October 25, 1914, in McAlester, Oklahoma, the poet bore the surname of his parents, teacher Martha Little and John Allyn Smith, a bank examiner. In 1924, bankrolled by Martha's mother, his family moved to Tampa, Florida. In 1926, his father sank into despair over unwise mother, his family moved to Tampa, Florida....
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- Fall '08