This article examines John Berryman's last two poetry collections, Love & Fame (1970) and Delusions, etc. (1972) as the poetic articulations of Berryman's intense scholarly engagement with philosophical and theological discourse. In eschewing confessional readings of his work, the article rehabilitates the term 'confession' as Berryman understood it: not as part of recurrent and reductive analyses of the Middle Generation but, rather, as a doctrinal node within Berryman's theological conceptions of selfhood in relation to God and the role of prayer. In addition, this article connects Berryman's late work to theological frameworks beyond Christianity, principally to the work of Søren Kierkegaard as well as to aspects of Jewish faith, both of which were enduring interests for Berryman.
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- Emmanuel Levinas
- John Berryman
- Søren Kierkegaard
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Religious studies
- Literature and Literary Theory