In slack times visit I the violent dead
and pick their awful brains. Most seem to feel
nothing is secret more
to my disdain I find, when we who fled
cherish the knowings of both worlds, conceal
more, beat on the floor,

where Bhain is stagnant, dear of Henry’s friends,
yellow with cancer, paper-thin, & bent
even in the hospital bed
racked with high hope, on whom death lay hands
in weeks, or Yeats in the London spring half-spent,
only the grand gift in his head

going for him, a seated ruin of a man
courteous to a junior, like one of the boarders,
or Dylan, with more to say
now there’s no hurry, and we’re all a clan.
You’d think off here one would be free from orders.
I didn’t hear a single word. I obeyed.

Analysis, meaning and summary of John Berryman's poem Dream Song 88: Op. posth. no. 11

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by John Berryman better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.