John Berryman

Dream Song 21: Some good people, daring & subtle voices

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Some good people, daring & subtle voices
and their tense faces, as I think of it
I see sank underground.
I see. My radar digs. I do not dig.
Cool their flushing blood, them eyes is shut—

Appalled: by all the dead: Henry brooded.
Without exception! All.
The senior population waits. Come down! come down!
A ghastly & flashing pause, clothed,
life called; us do.

In a madhouse heard I an ancient man
tube-fed who had not said for fifteen years
(they said) one canny word,
senile forever, who a heart might pierce,
mutter 'O come on down. O come on down.'
Clear whom he meant.

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John Berryman