From the cover of our Winter 1986 issue. Edward Ruscha, Several Monograms (detail), 1986, dry pigment and acrylic on paper.
“Sonnet,” a poem by Delmore Schwartz from our Winter 1986 issue. Schwartz was born on this day in 1913 and died in 1966; this poem, dated 1938, was drawn from his unpublished manuscripts and typescripts at Yale University’s Beinecke Library. Robert Phillips called it “a good example of his earliest work, which took Eliot and Yeats as models. Compact, rhyming, and formal, the poems attempted to mythologize Schwartz, to dramatize history, and to pay homage to the world of culture.” —D. P.
I follow thought and what the world announcesI lean to hear, and leaning too far over,Fall, and babied by confusion, coverMyself in drowse, too tired by such bounces.But in sleep are dreams across zigzagging snowDescending quietly and slow, like minutes,And on this peace the soul again begins itsRhetoric of desire, older than Jericho,And rails once more, like birds of early morningUrchinous on branches and like newsboys,“Extra, this is the meaning of life,Here is the real good, beyond all turning,”Till night goes home, astonished by such cries,I wake up, and, to feel superior, I laugh.
Last / Next Article