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Dream Song 78: Op. posth. no. 1

Dream Song 78: Op. posth. no. 1

Darkened his eye, his wild smile disappeared,
Inapprehensible his studies grew,
Nourished he less & less
His subject body with good food & rest,
Something bizarre about Henry, slowly sheared
Off, unlike you & you,

Smaller & smaller, till in question stood
His eyeteeth and one block of memories
These were enough for him
Implying commands from upstairs & from down,
Walt’s ‘orbic flex,’ triads of Hegel would
Incorporate, if you please,

Into the know-how of the American bard
Embarrassed Henry heard himself a-being,
And the younger Stephen Crane
Of a powerful memory, of pain,
These stood the ancestors, relaxed & hard,
Whilst Henry’s parts were fleeing.



Poem Dream Song 78: Op. posth. no. 1 - John Berryman