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American poet (1914-1972) whose most famous book was The Dream Songs. He was a member of the faculty at the University of Minnesota for much of his career and is widely recognized as an influential influence and contributor to the confessional style of poetry in American literature. His dream songs are disjointed, opaque, self-referential, and largely incomprehensible if not read in conjunction with each other, much like much of the Hold Steady's oeuvre. Additionally, his use of third-person reference and shifting narrative voice (often shifting between the nameless narrator, Mr. Bones, and Henry without clear delineation) seems at least a spiritual precursor to the Hold Steady's style of shifting between Charlemagne's voice, Gideon's voice, and Holly's voice, and the uncertainty as to when one voice stops and another voice begins, or when the speaker has resumed his/her narration. Also, naturally, he jumped off the Washington Bridge in 1972.

John Berryman

from Stuck Between Stations

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