Dream Song 92: Room 231: the fourth week

Something black somewhere in the vistas of his heart.

Tulips from Tates teazed Henry in the mood
to be a tulip and desire no more
but water, but light, but air.
Yet his nerves rattled blackly, unsubdued,
& suffocation called, dream-whiskey’d pour
sirening. Rosy there

too fly my Phil & Ellen roses, pal.
Flesh-coloured men & women come & punt
under my windows. I rave
or grunt against it, from a flowerless land.
For timeless hours wind most, or not at all. I wind
my clock before I shave.

Soon it will fall dark. Soon you’ll see stars
you fevered after, child, man, & did nothing,—
compass live to the pencil-torch!
As still as his cadaver, Henry mars
this surface of an earth or other, feet south
eyes bleared west, waking to march.

Analysis, meaning and summary of John Berryman's poem Dream Song 92: Room 231: the fourth week

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