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Sonnet 28 Analysis

Author: poem of John Berryman Type: poem Views: 6

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A wasp skims nearby up the bright warm air,

Immobile me, my poem of you lost

Into your image burning, a burning ghost

Between the bricks and fixed eyes, blue despair

To spell you lively in this summerfare

Back from your death of distance, my lute tossed

Down, while my ears reel to your marriage, crossed

Brass endless, burning on my helpless glare.

After eighteen years to the Rue Fortunée

Balzac brought Hanska, the Count dead and the lover

Not well to live, home, where the black lock stuck

Stuck! stuck! lights blazed, the crazy velvet smashed away,

Idlers assembled, a smith ran to discover—

Ten weeks, and then turned in (like mine) his luck.

Submitted by Holt


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Sonnet 28: Translation to modern English
So how can I, who am prevented from the benefit of rest, return in a contented frame of mind when the oppression of the day isn't relieved at night, but the day is oppressed by the night and the night oppressed by the day? And although they are natural enemies they shake hands on an agreement to torture me, the one with travel, the other to dwell on thoughts of how far away from you I have travelled. To please the day I tell him that your brightness lights him up when clouds conceal the sky, and I flatter the black-complexioned night that you brighten the evening sky when the sparkling stars are not shining. But day prolongs my sorrows daily, and night makes my grief grow stronger nightly.

| Posted on 2008-05-23 | by a guest

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