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John Berryman's Dream Song 131

This is one of my favorites from Berryman--I re-read him regularly--and now that NaPo is over (well, I'm giving up, anyway) I'll be back to posting regularly with ephemera and poems. During NaPo I read Berryman and Kim Addonizio and Maurice Manning and Rae Armantrout and Robin Blaser. Blaser's the only one I didn't really get into, but that may be a factor of my dipping into and out of his Collected at random instead of reading through conscientiously as I usually do.




Dream Song 131: Come Touch Me Baby In His Waking Dream by John Berryman


Come touch me baby in his waking dream
disordered Henry murmured. I’ll read you Hegel
and that will hurt your mind
I can’t remember when you were unkind
but I will clear that block, I’ll set you on fire
along with our babies
to save them up the high & ruined stairs,
my growing daughters. I am insane, I think,
they say & act so.
But then they let me out, and I must save them,
High fires will help, at this time, in my affairs.
I am insane, I know
and many of my close friends were half-sane
I see the rorschach for the dead on its way
Prop them up!
Trade me a lesson, pour me down a sink
I swear I’ll love her always, like a drink
Let pass from me this cup

Comments

  1. great choice. I also love his Sonnets.

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  2. I really like those too. I was amazed, reading his biography, how quickly they poured out of him and then again how quickly he ignored them for years, these hundred poems or something just sitting around the house. I wonder if anyone today would just let that amount of work just sit around without submitting it.

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