On the morning of January 7, 1972, John Berryman, bearded and stoop-shouldered, trudged across the campus of the University of Minnesota in gelid Minneapolis before halting on a cement pedestrian walkway above the Mississippi River. He balanced himself on the metal rail, much as his hero Hart Crane had balanced on the stern rail of the S. S. Orizaba forty years earlier. Then, like Crane, he waved goodbye to those around him, before pushing forward and plunging...
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