The conclusion is growing . . . I feel sure, my lord,
this august court will entertain the plea
Not Guilty by reason of death.
I can say no more except that for the record
I add that all the crimes since all the times he
died will be due to the breath

of unknown others, sweating in theri guilt
while my client Henry’s brow of stainless steel
rests free, as well it may,
of all such turbulence, whereof not built
Henry lies clear as any onion-peel
in any sandwich, say.

He spiced us: there, my lord, the wicked fault
lodges: we judged him when we did not know
and we did judge him wrong,
lying incapable of crime save salt
preservative in cases here below
adduced. Not to prolong

Analysis, meaning and summary of John Berryman's poem Dream Song 86: Op. posth. no. 9

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