Spring 1948 • Vol. X No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 1948 |

A Winter-Piece to a Friend Away

Your letter came.—Glutted the earth & cold With rains long heavy, follows intense frost;  Snow howls and hides the world We worked awhile to build; all the roads are lost; Icy spiculae float, filling strange air; No voice goes far; one is alone whirling since where,  And when was it one crossed?  You have been there. I too the breaking blizzard's eddies bore One year, another year: tempted to drop  At my own feet forlorn Under the warm fall, frantic more to chop Wide with the gale until my thought ran numb Clenching the blue skin tight against what white spikes come,  And the sick brain estop.  Your pendulum Mine, not stilled wholly, has been sorry for, Weeps from, and would instruct … Unless I lied  What word steadies that cord? Glade grove & ghyll of antique childhood glide Off; from our grown grief, weathers that appal, The massive sorrow of the mental hospital,  Friends & our good friends hide.  They came to call. Hardl

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In 1945, John Berryman won an early KR contest for short fiction, cosponsored by Doubleday, Doran & Co. Berryman achieved his greatest renown as a poet with the publication of 77 Dream Songs in 1964, which won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

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At Chinese Checkers

By John Berryman

Your letter came.—Glutted the earth & cold With rains long heavy, follows intense frost;  Snow howls and hides the world We worked awhile to build; all the roads are lost; […]

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