I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Don’t understand, just be afraid


“These Songs are not meant to be understood, you understand. / They are only meant to terrify & comfort.” So said John Berryman in his 366th Dream Song. Below is his 28th, “Snow Line”. I’m not sure if it either terrifies or comforts, but it’s good. Of course I’m not sure if I understand it.

Dream Song 28: Snow Line

It was wet & white & swift and where I am
we don’t know. It was dark and then
it isn’t.
I wish the barker would come. There seems to be eat
nothing. I am usually tired.
I’m alone too.

If only the strange one with so few legs would come,
I’d say my prayers out of my mouth, as usual.
Where are his note I loved?
There may be horribles; it’s hard to tell.
The barker nips me but somehow I feel
he too is on my side.

I’m too alone. I see no end. If we could all
run, even that would be better. I am hungry.
The sun is not hot.
It’s not a good position I am in.
If I had to do the whole thing over again
I wouldn’t.

Calista McRae reviews a new study by Philip Coleman, John Berryman’s Public Visionhere: