English poetry

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Dream Song 88: Op. posth. no. 11

In slack times visit I the violent dead
And pick their awful brains. Most seem to feel
Nothing is secret more
To my disdain I find, when we who fled
Cherish the knowings of both worlds, conceal
More, beat on the floor,

Where Bhain is stagnant, dear of Henry’s friends,
Yellow with cancer, paper-thin, & bent
Even in the hospital bed
Racked with high hope, on whom death lay hands
In weeks, or Yeats in the London spring half-spent,
Only the grand gift in his head

Going for him, a seated ruin of a man
Courteous to a junior, like one of the boarders,
Or Dylan, with more to say
Now there’s no hurry, and we’re all a clan.
You’d think off here one would be free from orders.
I didn’t hear a single word. I obeyed.


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Poem Dream Song 88: Op. posth. no. 11 - John Berryman