Delmore Schwartz

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Delmore Schwartz (December 8 1913July 11 1966) was an American poet.

Sourced[edit]

  • Each minute bursts in the burning room,
    The great globe reels in the solar fire,
    Spinning the trivial and unique away.

    (How all things flash! How all things flare!)
    What am I now that I was then?
    May memory restore again and again
    The smallest color of the smallest day:
    Time is the school in which we learn,
    Time is the fire in which we burn.

Selected Poems: Summer Knowledge (1959)[edit]

  • I am my father's father,
    You are your children's guilt.

    In history's pity and terror
    The child is Aeneas again;

    Troy is in the nursery,
    The rocking horse is on fire.

    Child labor! The child must carry
    His fathers on his back.


  • A car coughed, starting. Morning softly
    Melting the air, lifted the half-covered chair
    From underseas, kindled the looking-glass,
    Distinguished the dresser and the white wall.
    The bird called tentatively, whistled, called,
    Bubbled and whistled, so! Perplexed, still wet
    With sleep, affectionate, hungry and cold. So, so,
    O son of man, the ignorant night, the travail
    Of early morning, the mystery of the beginning
    Again and again,
    while history is unforgiven.


  • Whence, if ever, shall come the actuality
    Of a voice speaking the mind's knowing,
    The sunlight bright on the green windowshade,
    And the self articulate, affectionate, and flowing,
    Ease, warmth, light, the utter showing,
    When in the white bed all things are made.


  • Where the light is, and each thing clear,
    Separate from all others, standing in its place,
    I drink the time and touch whatever's near,

    And hope for day when the whole world has that face:
    For what assures her present every year?
    In dark accidents the mind's sufficient grace.


  • How the false truths of the years of youth have passed!
    Have passed at full speed like trains which never stopped
    There where I stood and waited, hardly aware,
    How little I knew, or which of them was the one
    To mount and ride to hope or where true hope arrives.


  • I no more wrote than read that book which is
    The self I am, half hidden as it is
    From one and all who see within a kiss
    The lounging formless blackness of an abyss.

    How could I think the brief years were enough
    To prove the reality of endless love?

    • "I am a Book I neither Wrote nor Read"


  • But this, this which we say before we’re sorry,
    This which we live behind our unseen faces,
    Is neither dream, nor childhood, neither
    Myth, nor landscape, final, nor finished,
    For we are incomplete and know no future,
    And we are howling or dancing out our souls
    In beating syllables before the curtain:
    We are Shakespearean, we are strangers.


  • That inescapable animal walks with me,
    Has followed me since the black womb held,
    Moves where I move, distorting my gesture,
    A caricature, a swollen shadow,
    A stupid clown of the spirit's motive,
    Perplexes and affronts with his own darkness,
    The secret life of belly and bone.

External links[edit]

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