Treasure Island

Delmore Schwartz

(8 December 1913 - 11 July 1966 / Brooklyn / New York / United States)

Quotations

  • ''Tiger Christ unsheathed his sword,
    Threw it down, became a lamb.''
    Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966), U.S. poet, critic. For the One Who Would Take Man's Life in His Hands (l. 1-2). . . Modern American & British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed., in consultation with Karl Shapiro and Richard Wilbur. (Rev., shorter ed., 1955) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
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  • ''Troy burned for a sea-tax, also for
    Possession of a charming whore.''
    Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966), U.S. poet, critic. For the One Who Would Take Man's Life in His Hands (l. 9-10). . . Modern American & British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed., in consultation with Karl Shapiro and Richard Wilbur. (Rev., shorter ed., 1955) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''MWhat do all examples show?
    What can any actor know?
    The contradiction in every act,
    The infinite task of the human heart."''
    Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966), U.S. poet, critic. For the One Who Would Take Man's Life in His Hands (l. 29-32). . . Modern American & British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed., in consultation with Karl Shapiro and Richard Wilbur. (Rev., shorter ed., 1955) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''Love is the tact of every good,
    The only warmth, the only peace.''
    Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966), U.S. poet, critic. For the One Who Would Take Man's Life in His Hands (l. 21-22). . . Modern American & British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed., in consultation with Karl Shapiro and Richard Wilbur. (Rev., shorter ed., 1955) Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  • ''So, so,
    O son of man, the ignorant night, the travail

    Of early morning, the mystery of beginning
    Again and again,
    while History is unforgiven.''
    Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966), U.S. poet, critic. In the Naked Bed, in Plato's Cave (l. 27-31). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''Morning, softly
    Melting the air, lifted the half-covered chair
    From underseas,''
    Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966), U.S. poet, critic. In the Naked Bed, in Plato's Cave (l. 21-23). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''As one young starlet asked, with annoyance and pretension, "What has Marilyn got? And how can I get it?" A large part of the answer lies in Miss Monroe's attitude toward herself. Along with her very evident feminine charms goes a genuine delight in being sexually attractive—an attitude that makes attractiveness seem as natural as sunlight. No amount of connections and calculated exploitation of beauty could achieve the same effect. Miss Kelly is a symbol in a very different way. The heroines she plays take the sexual initiative in a remarkably overt way, but always as perfectly proper young ladies. It is as if a not-nice girl, when in love, would behave otherwise and no well-bred wife would act otherwise toward her husband. Female interest in physical love becomes respectable and proper, as if no one had ever thought it vulgar and immodest in a good woman. The nice girl as coquette or flirt is archaic and coy.''
    Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966), U.S. poet, critic. "Survey of Our National Phenomena," The Ego Is Always at the Wheel: Bagatelles, New Directions (1986).
  • ''Dragging me with him in his mouthing care,
    Amid the hundred million of his kind,
    The scrimmage of appetite everywhere.''
    Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966), U.S. poet, critic. The Repetitive Heart (l. 27-31). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
  • ''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.''
    Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966), U.S. poet, critic. The Repetitive Heart (l. 27-31). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Oxford University Press.
  • ''Each minute burstsin 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!)''
    Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966), U.S. poet, critic. The Repetitive Heart (l. 27-31). . . Oxford Book of American Verse, The. F. O. Matthiessen, ed. (1950) Oxford University Press.

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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

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