Friday, May 8, 2015

Poem for the Weekend: Delmore Schwartz


Delmore Schwartz lived a tumultuous life marked by a challenging childhood, addictions, and mental illness; he also possessed a dazzling intellect and was much admired by his contemporaries, including T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and Vladimir Nabokov. Alfred Kazin remembers the author as one who "believed in nothing so much as the virtue and reason of poetry." Read about Schwartz's life here.

Poem (In The Morning, When It Was Raining)

by Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966)

In the morning, when it was raining,
Then the birds were hectic and loudy;
Through all the reign is fall's entertaining;
Their singing was erratic and full of disorder:
They did not remember the summer blue
Or the orange of June. They did not think at all
Of the great red and bursting ball
Of the kingly sun's terror and tempest, blazing,
Once the slanting rain threw over all
The colorless curtains of the ceaseless spontaneous fall.


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"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka