Spring 1941 • Vol. III No. 2 Poetry |

At Chinese Checkers

I Again—but other faces bend with mineUpon the board—I settle to this gameAnd drive my marbles leaping or in lineToward the goal, the triangular blue aimOf all my red ones, as it was before.Sitting with strangers by a Northern lakeI watch the opening and the shutting door,The paradigms of marble shift and break. II The table moves beneath my restless eyes,Part of an oak, an occupation once,This town humming with men and lumber, cries,Will, passionate activity that sinceDwindled, died, when the woods, cut without plan,Were thirty years ago exhausted. NowThe jackpine where the locomotive ranSprings up wild; the docks are rotten with snow. III Last night for the first time I saw the Lights,The folding of the Lights like upright cloudSwinging as, in a childhood summer, kitesSwung and the boys who owned the kites were proud.What pride was active in that gorgeous sky?What dreadful leniency compelled the menSouthward, the crumpled men? Questions went by,Swung in the dark

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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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