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Best Famous Delmore Schwartz Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Delmore Schwartz poems. This is a select list of the best famous Delmore Schwartz poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Delmore Schwartz poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Delmore Schwartz poems.

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Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

The Spring

 (After Rilke)


Spring has returned! Everything has returned!
The earth, just like a schoolgirl, memorizes
Poems, so many poems.
.
.
.
Look, she has learned So many famous poems, she has earned so many prizes! Teacher was strict.
We delighted in the white Of the old man's beard, bright like the snow's: Now we may ask which names are wrong, or right For "blue," for "apple," for "ripe.
" She knows, she knows! Lucky earth, let out of school, now you must play Hide-and-seek with all the children every day: You must hide that we may seek you: we will! We will! The happiest child will hold you.
She knows all the things You taught her: the word for "hope," and for "believe," Are still upon her tongue.
She sings and sings and sings.


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

For The One Who Would Take Mans Life In His Hands

 Tiger Christ unsheathed his sword,
Threw it down, became a lamb.
Swift spat upon the species, but Took two women to his heart.
Samson who was strong as death Paid his strength to kiss a slut.
Othello that stiff warrior Was broken by a woman's heart.
Troy burned for a sea-tax, also for Possession of a charming whore.
What do all examples show? What must the finished murderer know? You cannot sit on bayonets, Nor can you eat among the dead.
When all are killed, you are alone, A vacuum comes where hate has fed.
Murder's fruit is silent stone, The gun increases poverty.
With what do these examples shine? The soldier turned to girls and wine.
Love is the tact of every good, The only warmth, the only peace.
"What have I said?" asked Socrates.
"Affirmed extremes, cried yes and no, Taken all parts, denied myself, Praised the caress, extolled the blow, Soldier and lover quite deranged Until their motions are exchanged.
-What do all examples show? What can any actor know? The contradiction in every act, The infinite task of the human heart.
"


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

Far Rockaway

 "the cure of souls.
" Henry James The radiant soda of the seashore fashions Fun, foam and freedom.
The sea laves The Shaven sand.
And the light sways forward On self-destroying waves.
The rigor of the weekday is cast aside with shoes, With business suits and traffic's motion; The lolling man lies with the passionate sun, Or is drunken in the ocean.
A socialist health take should of the adult, He is stripped of his class in the bathing-suit, He returns to the children digging at summer, A melon-like fruit.
O glittering and rocking and bursting and blue -Eternities of sea and sky shadow no pleasure: Time unheard moves and the heart of man is eaten Consummately at leisure.
The novelist tangential on the boardwalk overhead Seeks his cure of souls in his own anxious gaze.
"Here," he says, "With whom?" he asks, "This?" he questions, "What tedium, what blaze?" "What satisfaction, fruit? What transit, heaven? Criminal? justified? arrived at what June?" That nervous conscience amid the concessions Is haunting, haunted moon.


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Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

Out Of The Watercolored Window When You Look

 When from the watercolored window idly you look
Each is but and clear to see, not steep:
So does the neat print in an actual book
Marching as if to true conclusion, reap
The illimitable blue immensely overhead,
The night of the living and the day of the dead.
I drive in an auto all night long to reach The apple which has sewed the sunlight up: My simple self is nothing but the speech Pleading for the overflow of that great cup, The darkened body, the mind still as a frieze: All else is merely means as complex as disease!


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me

 "the withness of the body" --Whitehead


The heavy bear who goes with me,
A manifold honey to smear his face,
Clumsy and lumbering here and there,
The central ton of every place,
The hungry beating brutish one
In love with candy, anger, and sleep,
Crazy factotum, dishevelling all,
Climbs the building, kicks the football,
Boxes his brother in the hate-ridden city.
Breathing at my side, that heavy animal, That heavy bear who sleeps with me, Howls in his sleep for a world of sugar, A sweetness intimate as the water's clasp, Howls in his sleep because the tight-rope Trembles and shows the darkness beneath.
--The strutting show-off is terrified, Dressed in his dress-suit, bulging his pants, Trembles to think that his quivering meat Must finally wince to nothing at all.
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, Opaque, too near, my private, yet unknown, Stretches to embrace the very dear With whom I would walk without him near, Touches her grossly, although a word Would bare my heart and make me clear, Stumbles, flounders, and strives to be fed Dragging me with him in his mouthing care, Amid the hundred million of his kind, the scrimmage of appetite everywhere.


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

America America!

 I am a poet of the Hudson River and the heights above it,
 the lights, the stars, and the bridges
I am also by self-appointment the laureate of the Atlantic
 -of the peoples' hearts, crossing it 
 to new America.
I am burdened with the truck and chimera, hope, acquired in the sweating sick-excited passage in steerage, strange and estranged Hence I must descry and describe the kingdom of emotion.
For I am a poet of the kindergarten (in the city) and the cemetery (in the city) And rapture and ragtime and also the secret city in the heart and mind This is the song of the natural city self in the 20th century.
It is true but only partly true that a city is a "tyranny of numbers" (This is the chant of the urban metropolitan and metaphysical self After the first two World Wars of the 20th century) --- This is the city self, looking from window to lighted window When the squares and checks of faintly yellow light Shine at night, upon a huge dim board and slab-like tombs, Hiding many lives.
It is the city consciousness Which sees and says: more: more and more: always more.


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

Parlez-Vous Francais?

 Caesar, the amplifier voice, announces
Crime and reparation.
In the barber shop Recumbent men attend, while absently The barber doffs the naked face with cream.
Caesar proposes, Caesar promises Pride, justice, and the sun Brilliant and strong on everyone, Speeding one hundred miles an hour across the land: Caesar declares the will.
The barber firmly Planes the stubble with a steady hand, While all in barber chairs reclining, In wet white faces, fully understand Good and evil, who is Gentile, weakness and command.
And now who enters quietly? Who is this one Shy, pale, and quite abstracted? Who is he? It is the writer merely, with a three-day beard, His tiredness not evident.
He wears no tie.
And now he hears his enemy and trembles, Resolving, speaks: "Ecoutez! La plupart des hommes Vivent des vies de desespoir silenciuex, Victimes des intentions innombrables.
Et ca Cet homme sait bien.
Les mots de cette voix sont Des songes et des mensonges.
Il prend choix, Il prend la volonte, il porte la fin d'ete.
La guerre.
Ecoutez-moi! Il porte la mort.
" He stands there speaking and they laugh to hear Rage and excitement from the foreigner.


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

Phoenix Lyrics

 I

If nature is life, nature is death:
It is winter as it is spring:
Confusion is variety, variety
And confusion in everything
Make experience the true conclusion
Of all desire and opulence,
All satisfaction and poverty.
II When a hundred years had passed nature seemed to man a clock Another century sank away and nature seemed a jungle in a rock And now that nature has become a ticking and hidden bomb how we must mock Newton, Democritus, the Deity The heart's ingenuity and the mind's infinite uncontrollable insatiable curiosity.
III Purple black cloud at sunset: it is late August and the light begins to look cold, and as we look, listen and look, we hear the first drums of autumn.


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

The Ballad Of The Children Of The Czar

 1

The children of the Czar
Played with a bouncing ball

In the May morning, in the Czar's garden,
Tossing it back and forth.
It fell among the flowerbeds Or fled to the north gate.
A daylight moon hung up In the Western sky, bald white.
Like Papa's face, said Sister, Hurling the white ball forth.
2 While I ate a baked potato Six thousand miles apart, In Brooklyn, in 1916, Aged two, irrational.
When Franklin D.
Roosevelt Was an Arrow Collar ad.
O Nicholas! Alas! Alas! My grandfather coughed in your army, Hid in a wine-stinking barrel, For three days in Bucharest Then left for America To become a king himself.
3 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.
But seeing that so much is past And that history has no ruth For the individual, Who drinks tea, who catches cold, Let anger be general: I hate an abstract thing.
4 Brother and sister bounced The bounding, unbroken ball, The shattering sun fell down Like swords upon their play, Moving eastward among the stars Toward February and October.
But the Maywind brushed their cheeks Like a mother watching sleep, And if for a moment they fight Over the bouncing ball And sister pinches brother And brother kicks her shins, Well! The heart of man in known: It is a cactus bloom.
5 The ground on which the ball bounces Is another bouncing ball.
The wheeling, whirling world Makes no will glad.
Spinning in its spotlight darkness, It is too big for their hands.
A pitiless, purposeless Thing, Arbitrary, and unspent, Made for no play, for no children, But chasing only itself.
The innocent are overtaken, They are not innocent.
They are their father's fathers, The past is inevitable.
6 Now, in another October Of this tragic star, I see my second year, I eat my baked potato.
It is my buttered world, But, poked by my unlearned hand, It falls from the highchair down And I begin to howl And I see the ball roll under The iron gate which is locked.
Sister is screaming, brother is howling, The ball has evaded their will.
Even a bouncing ball Is uncontrollable, And is under the garden wall.
I am overtaken by terror Thinking of my father's fathers, And of my own will.


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

By Circumstances Fed

 By circumstances fed
Which divide attention
Among the living and the dead,
Under the blooms of the blossoming sun,
The gaze which is a tower towers
Day and night, hour by hour,
Critical of all and of one,
Dissatisfied with every flower
With all that's been done or undone,
Converting every feature
Into its own and unknown nature;
So, once in the drugstore,
Amid all the poppy, salve and ointment,
I suddenly saw, estranged there,
Beyond all disappointment,
My own face in the mirror.


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

A Dream Of Whitman Paraphrased Recognized And Made More Vivid By Renoir

 Twenty-eight naked young women bathed by the shore
Or near the bank of a woodland lake
Twenty-eight girls and all of them comely
Worthy of Mack Sennett's camera and Florenz Ziegfield's
Foolish Follies.
They splashed and swam with the wondrous unconsciousness Of their youth and beauty In the full spontaneity and summer of the fieshes of awareness Heightened, intensified and softened By the soft and the silk of the waters Blooded made ready by the energy set afire by the nakedness of the body, Electrified: deified: undenied.
A young man of thirty years beholds them from a distance.
He lives in the dungeon of ten million dollars.
He is rich, handsome and empty standing behind the linen curtains Beholding them.
Which girl does he think most desirable, most beautiful? They are all equally beautiful and desirable from the gold distance.
For if poverty darkens discrimination and makes perception too vivid, The gold of wealth is also a form of blindness.
For has not a Frenchman said, Although this is America.
.
.
What he has said is not entirely relevant, That a naked woman is a proof of the existence of God.
Where is he going? Is he going to be among them to splash and to laugh with them? They did not see him although he saw them and was there among them.
He saw them as he would not have seen them had they been conscious Of him or conscious of men in complete depravation: This is his enchantment and impoverishment As he possesses them in gaze only.
.
.
.
He felt the wood secrecy, he knew the June softness The warmth surrounding him crackled Held in by the mansard roof mansion He glimpsed the shadowy light on last year's brittle leaves fallen, Looked over and overlooked, glimpsed by the fall of death, Winter's mourning and the May's renewal.


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

O Love Sweet Animal

 O Love, dark animal,
With your strangeness go
Like any freak or clown:
Appease tee child in her
Because she is alone
Many years ago
Terrified by a look
Which was not meant for her.
Brush your heavy fur Against her, long and slow Stare at her like a book, Her interests being such No one can look too much.
Tell her how you know Nothing can be taken Which has not been given: For you time is forgiven: Informed by hell and heaven You are not mistaken


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

All Night All Night

 "I have been one acquainted with the night" - Robert Frost


Rode in the train all night, in the sick light.
A bird Flew parallel with a singular will.
In daydream's moods and attitudes The other passengers slumped, dozed, slept, read, Waiting, and waiting for place to be displaced On the exact track of safety or the rack of accident.
Looked out at the night, unable to distinguish Lights in the towns of passage from the yellow lights Numb on the ceiling.
And the bird flew parallel and still As the train shot forth the straight line of its whistle, Forward on the taut tracks, piercing empty, familiar -- The bored center of this vision and condition looked and looked Down through the slick pages of the magazine (seeking The seen and the unseen) and his gaze fell down the well Of the great darkness under the slick glitter, And he was only one among eight million riders and readers.
And all the while under his empty smile the shaking drum Of the long determined passage passed through him By his body mimicked and echoed.
And then the train Like a suddenly storming rain, began to rush and thresh-- The silent or passive night, pressing and impressing The patients' foreheads with a tightening-like image Of the rushing engine proceeded by a shaft of light Piercing the dark, changing and transforming the silence Into a violence of foam, sound, smoke and succession.
A bored child went to get a cup of water, And crushed the cup because the water too was Boring and merely boredom's struggle.
The child, returning, looked over the shoulder Of a man reading until he annoyed the shoulder.
A fat woman yawned and felt the liquid drops Drip down the fleece of many dinners.
And the bird flew parallel and parallel flew The black pencil lines of telephone posts, crucified, At regular intervals, post after post Of thrice crossed, blue-belled, anonymous trees.
And then the bird cried as if to all of us: 0 your life, your lonely life What have you ever done with it, And done with the great gift of consciousness? What will you ever do with your life before death's knife Provides the answer ultimate and appropriate? As I for my part felt in my heart as one who falls, Falls in a parachute, falls endlessly, and feel the vast Draft of the abyss sucking him down and down, An endlessly helplessly falling and appalled clown: This is the way that night passes by, this Is the overnight endless trip to the famous unfathomable abyss.


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

A Young Child And His Pregnant Mother

 At four years Nature is mountainous,
Mysterious, and submarine.
Even A city child knows this, hearing the subway's Rumor underground.
Between the grate, Dropping his penny, he learned out all loss, The irretrievable cent of fate, And now this newest of the mysteries, Confronts his honest and his studious eyes---- His mother much too fat and absentminded, Gazing past his face, careless of him, His fume, his charm, his bedtime, and warm milk, As soon the night will be too dark, the spring Too late, desire strange, and time too fast, This estrangement is a gradual thing (His mother once so svelte, so often sick! Towering father did this: what a trick!) Explained to cautiously, containing fear, Another being's being, becoming dear: All men are enemies: thus even brothers Can separate each other from their mothers! No better example than this unborn brother Shall teach him of his exile from his mother, Measured by his distance from the sky, Spoken in two vowels, I am I.


Written by Delmore Schwartz | |

The Poet

 The riches of the poet are equal to his poetry 
His power is his left hand
 It is idle weak and precious
His poverty is his wealth, a wealth which may destroy him
 like Midas Because it is that laziness which is a form of impatience 
And this he may be destroyed by the gold of the light
 which never was
On land or sea.
He may be drunken to death, draining the casks of excess That extreme form of success.
He may suffer Narcissus' destiny Unable to live except with the image which is infatuation Love, blind, adoring, overflowing Unable to respond to anything which does not bring love quickly or immediately.
.
.
.
The poet must be innocent and ignorant But he cannot be innocent since stupidity is not his strong point Therefore Cocteau said, "What would I not give To have the poems of my youth withdrawn from existence? I would give to Satan my immortal soul.
" This metaphor is wrong, for it is his immortal soul which he wished to redeem, Lifting it and sifting it, free and white, from the actuality of youth's banality, vulgarity, pomp and affectation of his early works of poetry.
So too in the same way a Famous American Poet When fame at last had come to him sought out the fifty copies of his first book of poems which had been privately printed by himself at his own expense.
He succeeded in securing 48 of the 50 copies, burned them And learned then how the last copies were extant, As the law of the land required, stashed away in the national capital, at the Library of Congress.
Therefore he went to Washington, therefore he took out the last two copies Placed them in his pocket, planned to depart Only to be halted and apprehended.
Since he was the author, Since they were his books and his property he was reproached But forgiven.
But the two copies were taken away from him Thus setting a national precedent.
For neither amnesty nor forgiveness is bestowed upon poets, poetry and poems, For William James, the lovable genius of Harvard spoke the terrifying truth: "Your friends may forget, God may forgive you, But the brain cells record your acts for the rest of eternity.
" What a terrifying thing to say! This is the endless doom, without remedy, of poetry.
This is also the joy everlasting of poetry.