Dream Song 94: Ill lay he long, upon this last return

Ill lay he long, upon this last return,
unvisited. The doctors put everything in the hospital
into reluctant Henry
and the nurses took it out & put it back,
smiling like fiends, with their eternal ‘we.’
Henry did a slow burn,

collapsing his dialogue to their white ears
& shiny on the flanges. Sanka he drank
until his memories blurred
& Valerie was coming, lower he sank
and lovely. Teddy on his handlebars
perched, her. One word he heard

insistent his broad shortcomings, then lay still.
That middle-sized wild man was ill.
A hospital is where it all has a use,
so is a makar. . So is substantial God,
tuning in from abroad.

Analysis, meaning and summary of John Berryman's poem Dream Song 94: Ill lay he long, upon this last return

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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.