Dream Song 120: Foes I sniff, when I have less to shout

Foes I sniff, when I have less to shout
or murmur. Pals alone enormous sounds
downward & up bring real.
Loss, deaths, terror. Over & out,
beloved: thanks for cabbage on my wounds:
I’ll feed you how I feel:—

of avocado moist with lemon, yea
formaldehyde & rotting sardines O
in our appointed time
I would I could a touch more fully say
my consentless mind. The senses are below,
which in this air sublime

do I repudiate. But foes I sniff!
My nose in all directions! I be so brave
I creep into an Arctic cave
for the rectal temperature of the biggest bear,
hibernating—in my left hand sugar.
I totter to the lip of the cliff.

Analysis, meaning and summary of John Berryman's poem Dream Song 120: Foes I sniff, when I have less to shout

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