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John Berryman

October 14, 2008

I know, I know two poetry posts only a few days apart. I think that you will enjoy this:

 

Master of beauty, craftsman of the snowflake,
inimitable contriver,
endower of Earth so gorgeous & different from the boring Moon,
thank you for such as it is my gift.

I have made up a morning prayer to you
containing with precision everything that most matters.
‘According to Thy will’ the thing begins.
It took me off & on two days. It does not aim at eloquence.

You have come to my rescue again & again
in my impassable, sometimes despairing years.
You have allowed my brilliant friends to destroy themselves
and I am still here, severely damaged, but functioning.

Unknowable, as I am unknown to my guinea pigs:
How can I ‘love’ you?
I only as far as gratitude & awe
confidently & absolutely go.

I have no idea whether we live again.
It doesn’t seem likely
from either the scientific or the philosophical point of view
but certainly all things are possible to you,

and I believe as fixedly in the Resurrection-appearances to Peter and
to Paul
as I believe I sit in this blue chair.
Only that may have been a special case
to establish their initiatory faith.

Whatever your end may be, accept my amazement.
May I stand until death forever at attention
for any your least instruction or enlightenment.
I even feel sure you will assist me again, Master of insight & beauty.

-John Berryman

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4 comments

  1. this is why some posts get no comments. Except comments on why poetry doesn’t get comments!


  2. maybe true. I should have ended it with a question, like:
    What are your thoughts on the line “I even feel sure you will assist me again, Master of insight and beauty.”?


  3. The Hold Steady – “Stuck Between Stations”
    …this song references John Berryman multiple times. I think him/his sad life & suicide super interesting considering he was a professor at the U of M here in Minny.

    Count the Minneapolis references…theres a bunch!
    Pz!


  4. rad!



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