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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.

Search for the best famous Delmore Schwartz poems, articles about Delmore Schwartz poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Delmore Schwartz poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

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Poems are below...


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Written by Delmore Schwartz | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

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.
Written by Delmore Schwartz | Create an image from this poem

Spiders

 Is the spider a monster in miniature?
His web is a cruel stair, to be sure,
Designed artfully, cunningly placed,
A delicate trap, carefully spun
To bind the fly (innocent or unaware)
In a net as strong as a chain or a gun.
There are far more spiders than the man in the street supposes And the philosopher-king imagines, let alone knows! There are six hundred kinds of spiders and each one Differs in kind and in unkindness.
In variety of behavior spiders are unrivalled: The fat garden spider sits motionless, amidst or at the heart Of the orb of its web: other kinds run, Scuttling across the floor, falling into bathtubs, Trapped in the path of its own wrath, by overconfidence drowned and undone.
Other kinds - more and more kinds under the stars and the sun - Are carnivores: all are relentless, ruthless Enemies of insects.
Their methods of getting food Are unconventional, numerous, various and sometimes hilarious: Some spiders spin webs as beautiful As Japanese drawings, intricate as clocks, strong as rocks: Others construct traps which consist only Of two sticky and tricky threads.
Yet this ambush is enough To bind and chain a crawling ant for long enough: The famished spider feels the vibration Which transforms patience into sensation and satiation.
The handsome wolf spider moves suddenly freely and relies Upon lightning suddenness, stealth and surprise, Possessing accurate eyes, pouncing upon his victim with the speed of surmise.
Courtship is dangerous: there are just as many elaborate and endless techniques and varieties As characterize the wooing of more analytic, more introspective beings: Sometimes the male Arrives with the gift of a freshly caught fly.
Sometimes he ties down the female, when she is frail, With deft strokes and quick maneuvres and threads of silk: But courtship and wooing, whatever their form, are informed By extreme caution, prudence, and calculation, For the female spider, lazier and fiercer than the male suitor, May make a meal of him if she does not feel in the same mood, or if her appetite Consumes her far more than the revelation of love's consummation.
Here among spiders, as in the higher forms of nature, The male runs a terrifying risk when he goes seeking for the bounty of beautiful Alma Magna Mater: Yet clearly and truly he must seek and find his mate and match like every other living creature!
Written by Delmore Schwartz | Create an image from this poem

Occasional Poems

 I Christmas Poem for Nancy

Noel, Noel
We live and we die
Between heaven and hell
Between the earth and the sky
And all shall be well
And all shall be unwell
And once again! all shall once again!
 All shall be well
By the ringing and the swinging
 of the great beautiful holiday bell
Of Noel! Noel!

II Salute Valentine

I'll drink to thee only with my eyes
When two are three and four,
And guzzle reality's rise and cries
And praise the truth beyond surmise
When small shots shout: More! More! More! More!

III Rabbi to Preach

Rabbi Robert Raaba will preach
 on "An Eye for an Eye"
 (an I for an I?)
(Two weeks from this week: "On the Sacred Would")
At Temple Sholem on Lake Shore Drive
- Pavel Slavensky will chant the liturgical responses
And William Leon, having now thirteen years
 will thank his parents that he exists
To celebrate his birthday of manhood, his chocolate 
Bar Mitzvah, his yum-yum kippered herring, his Russian
 Corona.
Written by Delmore Schwartz | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

Prothalamion

 "little soul, little flirting,
 little perverse one
 where are you off to now?
 little wan one, firm one
 little exposed one.
.
.
and never make fun of me again.
" Now I must betray myself.
The feast of bondage and unity is near, And none engaged in that great piety When each bows to the other, kneels, and takes Hand in hand, glance and glance, care and care, None may wear masks or enigmatic clothes, For weakness blinds the wounded face enough.
In sense, see my shocking nakedness.
I gave a girl an apple when five years old, Saying, Will you be sorry when I am gone? Ravenous for such courtesies, my name Is fed like a raving fire, insatiate still.
But do not be afraid.
For I forget myself.
I do indeed Before each genuine beauty, and I will Forget myself before your unknown heart.
I will forget the speech my mother made In a restaurant, trapping my father there At dinner with his whore.
Her spoken rage Struck down the child of seven years With shame for all three, with pity for The helpless harried waiter, with anger for The diners gazing, avid, and contempt And great disgust for every human being.
I will remember this.
My mother's rhetoric Has charmed my various tongue, but now I know Love's metric seeks a rhyme more pure and sure.
For thus it is that I betray myself, Passing the terror of childhood at second hand Through nervous, learned fingertips.
At thirteen when a little girl died, I walked for three weeks neither alive nor dead, And could not understand and still cannot The adult blind to the nearness of the dead, Or carefully ignorant of their own death.
--This sense could shadow all the time's curving fruits, But we will taste of them the whole night long, Forgetting no twelfth night, no fete of June, But in the daylight knowing our nothingness.
Let Freud and Marx be wedding guests indeed! Let them mark out masks that face us there, For of all anguish, weakness, loss and failure, No form is cruel as self-deception, none Shows day-by-day a bad dream long lived And unbroken like the lies We tell each other because we are rich or poor.
Though from the general guilt not free We can keep honor by being poor.
The waste, the evil, the abomination Is interrupted.
the perfect stars persist Small in the guilty night, and Mozart shows The irreducible incorruptible good Risen past birth and death, though he is dead.
Hope, like a face reflected on the windowpane, Remote and dim, fosters a myth or dream, And in that dream, I speak, I summon all Who are our friends somehow and thus I say: "Bid the jewellers come with monocles, Exclaiming, Pure! Intrinsic! Final! Summon the children eating ice cream To speak the chill thrill of immediacy.
Call for the acrobats who tumble The ecstasy of the somersault.
Bid the self-sufficient stars be piercing In the sublime and inexhaustible blue.
"Bring a mathematician, there is much to count, The unending continuum of my attention: Infinity will hurry his multiplied voice! Bring the poised impeccable diver, Summon the skater, precise in figure, He knows the peril of circumstance, The risk of movement and the hard ground.
Summon the florist! And the tobacconist! All who have known a plant-like beauty: Summon the charming bird for ignorant song.
"You, Athena, with your tired beauty, Will you give me away? For you must come In a bathing suit with that white owl Whom, as I walk, I will hold in my hand.
You too, Crusoe, to utter the emotion Of finding Friday, no longer alone; You too, Chaplin, muse of the curbstone, Mummer of hope, you understand!" But this is fantastic and pitiful, And no one comes, none will, we are alone, And what is possible is my own voice, Speaking its wish, despite its lasting fear; Speaking of its hope, its promise and its fear, The voice drunk with itself and rapt in fear, Exaggeration, braggadocio, Rhetoric and hope, and always fear: "For fifty-six or for a thousand years, I will live with you and be your friend, And what your body and what your spirit bears I will like my own body cure and tend.
But you are heavy and my body's weight Is great and heavy: when I carry you I lift upon my back time like a fate Near as my heart, dark when I marry you.
"The voice's promise is easy, and hope Is drunk, and wanton, and unwilled; In time's quicksilver, where our desires grope, The dream is warped or monstrously fulfilled, In this sense, listen, listen, and draw near: Love is inexhaustible and full of fear.
" This life is endless and my eyes are tired, So that, again and again, I touch a chair, Or go to the window, press my face Against it, hoping with substantial touch, Colorful sight, or turning things to gain once more The look of actuality, the certainty Of those who run down stairs and drive a car.
Then let us be each other's truth, let us Affirm the other's self, and be The other's audience, the other's state, Each to the other his sonorous fame.
Now you will be afraid, when, waking up, Before familiar morning, by my mute side Wan and abandoned then, when, waking up, You see the lion or lamb upon my face Or see the daemon breathing heavily His sense of ignorance, his wish to die, For I am nothing because my circus self Divides its love a million times.
I am the octopus in love with God, For thus is my desire inconclusible, Until my mind, deranged in swimming tubes, Issues its own darkness, clutching seas ---O God of my perfect ignorance, Bring the New Year to my only sister soon, Take from me strength and power to bless her head, Give her the magnitude of secular trust, Until she turns to me in her troubled sleep, Seeing me in my wish, free from self-wrongs.
Written by Delmore Schwartz | Create an image from this poem

Love And Marilyn Monroe

 (after Spillane)


Let us be aware of the true dark gods
Acknowledgeing the cache of the crotch
The primitive pure and pwerful pink and grey
 private sensitivites
Wincing, marvelous in their sweetness, whence rises
 the future.
Therefore let us praise Miss Marilyn Monroe.
She has a noble attitude marked by pride and candor She takes a noble pride in the female nature and torso She articualtes her pride with directness and exuberance She is honest in her delight in womanhood and manhood.
She is not a great lady, she is more than a lady, She continues the tradition of Dolly Madison and Clara Bow When she says, "any woman who claims she does not like to be grabbed is a liar!" Whether true or false, this colossal remark states a dazzling intention.
.
.
It might be the birth of a new Venus among us It atones at the very least for such as Carrie Nation For Miss Monroe will never be a blue nose, and perhaps we may hope That there will be fewer blue noses because she has flourished -- Long may she flourish in self-delight and the joy of womanhood.
A nation haunted by Puritanism owes her homage and gratitude.
Let us praise, to say it again, her spiritual pride And admire one who delights in what she has and is (Who says also: "A woman is like a motor car: She needs a good body.
" And: "I sun bathe in the nude, because I want to be blonde all over.
") This is spiritual piety and physical ebullience This is vivd glory, spiritual and physical, Of Miss Marilyn Monroe.
Written by Delmore Schwartz | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

Apollo Musagete Poetry And The Leader Of The Muses

 Nothing is given which is not taken.
Little or nothing is taken which is not freely desired, freely, truly and fully.
"You would not seek me if you had not found me": this is true of all that is supremely desired and admired.
.
.
"An enigma is an animal," said the hurried, harried schoolboy: And a horse divided against itself cannot stand; And a moron is a man who believes in having too many wives: what harm is there in that? O the endless fecundity of poetry is equaled By its endless inexhaustible freshness, as in the discovery of America and of poetry.
Hence it is clear that the truth is not strait and narrow but infinite: All roads lead to Rome and to poetry and to poem, sweet poem and from, away and towards are the same typography.
Hence the poet must be, in a way, stupid and naive and a little child; Unless ye be as a little child ye cannot enter the kingdom of poetry.
Hence the poet must be able to become a tiger like Blake; a carousel like Rilke.
Hence he must be all things to be free, for all impersonations a doormat and a monument to all situations possible or actual The cuckold, the cuckoo, the conqueror, and the coxcomb.
It is to him in the zoo that the zoo cries out and the hyena: "Hello, take off your hat, king of the beasts, and be seated, Mr.
Bones.
" And hence the poet must seek to be essentially anonymous.
He must die a little death each morning.
He must swallow his toad and study his vomit as Baudelaire studied la charogne of Jeanne Duval.
The poet must be or become both Keats and Renoir and Keats as Renoir.
Mozart as Figaro and Edgar Allan Poe as Ophelia, stoned out of her mind drowning in the river called forever river and ever.
.
.
Keats as Mimi, Camille, and an aging gourmet.
He must also refuse the favors of the unattainable lady (As Baudelaire refused Madame Sabatier when the fair blonde summoned him, For Jeanne Duval was enough and more than enough, although she cuckolded him With errand boys, servants, waiters; reality was Jeanne Duval.
Had he permitted Madame Sabatier to teach the poet a greater whiteness, His devotion and conception of the divinity of Beauty would have suffered an absolute diminution.
) The poet must be both Casanova and St.
Anthony, He must be Adonis, Nero, Hippolytus, Heathcliff, and Phaedre, Genghis Kahn, Genghis Cohen, and Gordon Martini Dandy Ghandi and St.
Francis, Professor Tenure, and Dizzy the dean and Disraeli of Death.
He would have worn the horns of existence upon his head, He would have perceived them regarding the looking-glass, He would have needed them the way a moose needs a hatrack; Above his heavy head and in his loaded eyes, black and scorched, He would have seen the meaning of the hat-rack, above the glass Looking in the dark foyer.
For the poet must become nothing but poetry, He must be nothing but a poem when he is writing Until he is absent-minded as the dead are Forgetful as the nymphs of Lethe and a lobotomy.
.
.
("the fat weed that rots on Lethe wharf").
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