Spring 1999 • Vol. XXI No. 2 Kenyon Review Classics |

Letter to His Brother

From the Summer 1939 issue.   The night is on these hills, and some can sleep.Some stare into the dark, some walk.Only the sound of glasses and of talk,Of cracking logs, and of a few who weep,Comes on the night wind to my waking ears.Your enemies and mine are still,None works upon us either good or ill:Mint by the stream, tree-frogs, are travellers. What shall I say for anniversary?At Dachau many blows forbidAnd Becket's brains upon the pavement spreadForbid my trust, my hopeful prophecy.Prediction if I make, I violateThe just expectancy of youth.And yet you know as well as I the toothSunk in our heels, the latest guise of fate. When Patrick Barton chased the murdererHe heard behind him in the woodPursuit, and suddenly he knew he fled:He was the murderer, the others wereHis vigilance. But when he crouched behindA tree, the tree moved off and leftHim naked while the chase came on; he laughedAnd like a hound he leapt out of his mind. I wish for you—the moon was f

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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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