English poetry

Poems in English

Dream Song 124: Behold I bring you tidings of great joy

Dream Song 124: Behold I bring you tidings of great joy

Behold I bring you tidings of great joy—
Especially now that the snow & gale are still—
For Henry is delivered.
Not only is he delivered from the gale
But he has a little one. He’s out of jail
Also. It is a boy.

Henry’s pleasure in this unusual event
Reminds me of the extra told at Hollywood & Vine
That TV cameras
Were focussed on him personally then & there
And ‘Just a few words. . . Is it what you meant?
Was there a genuine sign?’

Couvade was always Henry’s favourite custom,
Better than the bride biting off the penises, pal,
Remember? All the brothers
Marrying her in turn & dying mutilated
Until the youngest put in instead a crowbar, pal,
And pulled out not only her teeth but also his brothers’ dongs & no
doubt others’.



Poem Dream Song 124: Behold I bring you tidings of great joy - John Berryman