Dream Song 100: How this woman came by the courage

How this woman came by the courage, how she got
the courage, Henry bemused himself in a frantic hot
night of the eight of July,
where it came from, did once the Lord frown down
upon her ancient cradle thinking ‘This one
will do before she die

for two and seventy years of chipped indignities
at least,’ and with his thunder clapped a promise?
In that far away town
who looky upon my mother with shame & rage
that any should endure such pilgrimage,
growled Henry sweating, grown

but not grown used to the goodness of this woman
in her great strength, in her hope superhuman,
no, no, not used at all.
I declare a mystery, he mumbled to himself,
of love, and took the bourbon from the shelf
and drank her a tall one, tall.

Analysis, meaning and summary of John Berryman's poem Dream Song 100: How this woman came by the courage

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