Dream Song 295 (John Berryman).


You dear you, cleaning up Henry’s foreign affairs,
with your sword & armour heading for his bank,
a cable gone astray:
except for you he had hopped in the Liffey & sank.
Now what can he in return do: upstairs? downstairs?
You run your life every day

so well it’s hard to think    of anything you need
and I only supply needs, needs & ceremonies,
I’ll send you the last thirteen,
in all of which Henry is extremely dead
but talkative. To you with your peat moss & leaf-mould
& little soft wet holes

where you put ginger, bloodroot & blueheads
& pearly everlastings, —what can he say of worth?
In all his nine lives
he was seldom so pleased been to be on the same earth
with you, my dear. We get on better than
most husbands & wives.



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