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John Berryman.

The second in a series of poems for National Poetry Month.

SONNETS TO LISE, 113

by

John Berryman

'I didn't see anyone else, I just saw lies.'
Anne Frank remorseful from the grave: ah well,
it was a vision of her mother in Hell,
a payment beforehand for rebellion's seize,
whereby she grew up: springing from her knees
she saw her parents level. I ward your spell
away, and I try hard to look at you level
but that is quite unaccustomed to me, Lise.

Months I lookt up, entranced by you up there
like a Goya ceiling which will not come down,
in swirling clouds, until the end is here.
Tetelestai. We steamed in a freighter from Spain
& I will never see those frescoes again,
nor need to, having memorized your cloudy gown.