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Dream Song 41: If we sang in the wood (and Death is a German expert)

If we sang in the wood (and Death is a German expert)
While snows flies, chill, after so frequent knew
So many all nothing,
For lead & fire, it’s not we would assert
Particulars, but animal; cats mew,
Horses scream, man sing.

Or: men pslam. Man palms his ears and moans.
Death is a German expert. Scrambling, sitting,
Spattering, we hurry.
I try to. Odd & trivial, atones
Somehow for my escape a bullet splitting
My trod-on instep, fiery.

The cantor bubbled, rattled. The Temple burned.
Lurch with me! phantoms of Varshava. Slop!
When I used to be,
Who haunted, stumbling, sewers, my sacked shop,
Roofs, a dis-world ai! Death was a German
Home-country.


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Poem Dream Song 41: If we sang in the wood (and Death is a German expert) - John Berryman