Summer 1939 • Vol. I No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1939 |

Nineteen Thirty-Eight

Across the frontiers of the helpless worldThe great planes swarm, the carriers of death,Germs in the healthy body of the air,And blast our cities where we stand in talk  By doomed and comfortable fires. In Asia famous tombs were opened soAnd celebrated ancestors walked outInto the carnage of the Rising Sun,That horrible light upon a daughter cast,  The new language in the torn streets. There was a city where the people danced,Simple and generous, traditional.Suddenly the music stopped. ShootingBegan. Some of the living call the dead  Of the Third Reich the lucky ones. Terror accumulated in SeptemberUntil the island Dove divided upA southern ally for the Eagle’s feast,And trembled as the Eagle fed, knowing  The gratitude of appetite. What was a civil war this year but strangersOverhead, guns at sea, and foreign gunsAnd foreign squadrons in the plundered town?A Spaniard learnt that any time is time  For German or Italian doom. Survivors, lean and d

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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

Across the frontiers of the helpless worldThe great planes swarm, the carriers of death,Germs in the healthy body of the air,And blast our cities where we stand in talk  By doomed […]

Nineteen Thirty-Eight

By John Berryman

Across the frontiers of the helpless worldThe great planes swarm, the carriers of death,Germs in the healthy body of the air,And blast our cities where we stand in talk  By doomed […]

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