Mobile Photography – Saturday Poetry – ‘Dream Song 100’ by John Berryman


I am introducing a new section, simply titled, Saturday Poetry. Each Saturday I will publish a poem and I will also try to link a mobile photography image, that has been uploaded to our Instagram hashtag #theappwhisperer during the week.

Today, I am publising “Dream Song 100″ by John Berryman, he would have been 101 this year, had he lived. One of the things most people know about him is that he did not. He killed himself at 57 – after a lifetime of chaos, alcoholism, mental illness and extremely hard work.  Have you watched someone dying from alcoholism? I can’t express how hard it is...

Berryman’s only novel was about an alcoholic drying out. It was called Recovery, and it wasn’t finished because he didn’t. On 7 January 1977 Berryman walked along the outside of the covered Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis, climbed on the railing, leaned out and let go. Some accounts had it that he made a gesture something like waving goodbye.


I have matched @trishg61 – Patricia Geyer’s image “Silence of the Lambs…” with this poem. You can follow her on Instagram here and you can learn more about her work here.

To view the others we have published in this section, go here.

Dream Song 100: How this woman came by the courage

How this woman came by the courage, how she got

the courage, Henry bemused himself in a frantic hot

night of the eight of July,

where it came from, did one the Lord frown down

upon her ancient cradle thinking ‘This one

will do before she die


for two, and seventy years of chipped indignities

at least’, and with this thunder clapped a promise?

In that far away town

who looky upon my mother with shame and rage

that any should endure such pilgrimage,

growled Henry sweating, grown


but not grown used to the goodness of this woman

in her great strength, in her hope superhuman,

no, no, not used at all.

I declare a mystery, he mumbled to himself,

of love, and took the bourbon from the shelf

and drank her a tall one, tall.

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