Dream Song 14
by John Berryman
Dream Song 14 Summary
"Dream Song 14" covers quite a bit of ground in just three short stanzas, friends. Things start off clearly enough, but by the end, you might find yourself wondering, "What in the world (er, Dreamland) just happened here?" Kind of like the way you feel waking up from sleep with your alarm blaring and your eyes all crusty with dreamdust.
To make a relatively short story even shorter, this one is about being bored and disillusioned with life. In the first stanza, the speaker confesses, rather directly, that he's bored. He knows it's not a good thing to be bored with life, but he just can't seem to help himself. That's how he feels. He's got a serious case of the Mondays, you know?
The second stanza catalogs some of the things that bore our speaker. It's a pretty eclectic list: people, literature, art, and gin are all included. We're with him on the people being total yawnfests. We'd much rather watch a cat play the keyboard. See? You might agree with the speaker, Henry, on a lot of his examples.
But in the third and final stanza, you'll probably find yourself scratching your head, wondering where it all went so weird. Things get super surreal, super fast. And then the whole thing ends with a vanishing dog. Yup, you read that right. If you've gotta read a poem about boredom, at least this one is anything but boring.