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Dream Song 14
Dream Song 14
by John Berryman

Dream Song 14 Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Reading "Dream Song 14" for the first time, you might have had moments where you thought there was some kind of form or pattern at work—and then the feeling faded and you were left with an invisi...


When you read "Dream Song 14," you might think these lines sound more like a conversation with a friend who's griping about being bored than a poem. Like, it gets a little poem-y at the end with th...


We don't get much of a sense of place from "Dream Song 14." For the first two stanzas, the speaker is just talking to us. He mentions the sky and the sea, but we don't necessarily think those eleme...

Sound Check

Despite the title, "Dream Song 14" doesn't sound very song-like to us. It lacks a regular rhyme scheme and alliteration, both of which can give poems a sing-song-y feel. But the voice of the piece...

What's Up With the Title?

On the surface, "Dream Song 14" seems like a pretty simple little title. And, in some sense, it is. But since we're all about digging deeper, let's break it down and see if we can't uncover somethi...

Calling Card

Songs! Henry! (And some other stuff too…)Berryman poems, especially his "Dream Songs," are pretty easy to spot. Those six-line stanzas we discussed back in the Form section tend to stand out. And...


(6) Tree Line"Dream Song 14" is a pretty pleasant hike for the first two stanzas, but the air starts to get a little thin in the third. Watch out for light-headedness and perhaps a mild headache; t...


Berryman Rocks: well, at least he inspired the band Hold Steady to rock. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to check out a live performance of the song "Stuck Between Stations." See if you...

Steaminess Rating

GDespite the "flashing and yearning" in the first stanza, this one rates a G.


Mythology ReferencesAchilles (12)Check out Shmoop's mythology section for more about this nearly invincible warrior's "plights and gripes."

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