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996: The Poet's Final Instructions

"The Poet's Final Instructions"
John Berryman

Dog-tired, suisired, will now my body down
near Cedar Avenue in Minneap,
when my crime comes. I am blazing with hope.
Do me glory, come the whole way across town.

I couldn't rest from hell just anywhere,
in commonplaces. Choiring and strange my pall!
I might not lie still in the waste of St. Paul
or buy DAD's root beer; good signs I forgive.

Drop here, with honour due, my trunk and brain
among the passioning of my countrymen
unable to read, rich, proud of their tags
and proud of me. Assemble all my bags!
Bury me in a hole, and give a cheer,
near Cedar on Lake Street, where the used cars live.

The first week of only poems suggested by readers is coming to a close. If you want to send in suggestions for next week (or just in general), please email me at exceptindreamsATgmailDOTcom. Thanks.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 22nd, 2010 10:32 am (UTC)
I just want to say that even though I hardly ever comment, I absolutely love this lj and always read every poem.
Oct. 22nd, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm glad you enjoy it.
Oct. 22nd, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
I love this poem, mainly because I live near Lake and Cedar. I love the line "I am blazing with hope", it plays into the ideas of honor/crime, death/excitement, rich/poor. Hope amid despair.

Also I like having the poems not behind cuts, it is much more pleasant and I am more likely to read them.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


poetry, exceptindreams
a poem some days

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