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Dream Song 125: Bards freezing, naked, up to the neck in water

Dream Song 125: Bards freezing, naked, up to the neck in water

Bards freezing, naked, up to the neck in water,
Wholly in dark, time limited, different from
Initiations now:
The class in writing, clothed & dry & light,
Unlimited time, till Poetry takes some,
Nobody reads them though,

No trumpets, no solemn instauration, no change;
No commissions, ladies high in soulful praise
(pal) none,
Costumes as usual, turtleneck sweaters, loafers,
In & among the busy Many who brays
Art is if anything fun.

I say the subject was given as of old,
Prescribed the technical treatment, tests really tests
Were set by the masters & graded.
I say the paralyzed fear lest one’s not one
Is back with us forever, worsts & bests
Spring for the public, faded.



Poem Dream Song 125: Bards freezing, naked, up to the neck in water - John Berryman