John Berryman

Sonnet 23

They may, because I would not cloy your ear -
If ever these songs by other ears are heard -
With 'love'; suppose I loved you not, but blurred
Lust with strange images, warm, not quite sincere,
To switch a bedroom black. O mutineer
W­th me against these empty captains! gird
Your scorn again above all at this word
Pompous and vague on the stump of his career.

Also I fox 'heart', striking a modern breast
Hollow as a drum, and 'beauty' I taboo;
I want a verse fresh as a bubble breaks,
As little false . . . Blood of my sweet unrest
Runs all the same - I am in love with you -
Trapped in my rib-cage something throes and aches!