Minnesota poet sees new acclaim with ties to HBO series ‘Succession’

It's been more than 50 years since famed poet and scholar John Berryman walked the halls of the University of Minnesota, but his presence is still felt here – especially in the classroom of English professor and poet Peter Campion.

"He knew a lot about drama and the dramatics of a line and a phrase, and the voice and tone," Campion told FOX 9.

Berryman was a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner, teaching at the University of Minnesota for much of his career. He published his most famous works, including "His Toy, His Dream, His Rest," and "The Dream Songs" in the 1960s.

Now, his words are being appreciated by a new generation, all thanks to a hit TV drama.

The HBO drama 'Succession' follows the Roy siblings as they fight for control of the family's global media and entertainment empire. The final episodes of all four seasons are named after phrases in Berryman's poem "Dream Song 29"- Nobody Is Ever Missing, This Is Not For Tears, All the Bells Say, and With Open Eyes. 

With the themes of greed, power and control, Campion (who also happens to be a big fan of the show) says Berryman's work is the ideal compliment to 'Succession'.

The series finale, titled With Open Eyes, may give a small clue as to how it all ends.

"It goes 'With open eyes, he attends, blind,' which I suppose suggests you can look, but you might not see. You can see, but you might not take it in," said Campion.

Though the show will be over soon, Berryman's words will live on forever in print.

Campion hopes Berryman's poems continue to inspire other writers in their own work, whether it's a book, movie or another TV show.

"It's something I see with young writers, as a teacher, is the way in which going back, going to the classics, is strangely enough a way to make it new," said Campion.

The series finale of 'Succession' airs Sunday night on HBO.