When I fall asleep, and even during sleep,
I hear, quite distinctly, voices speaking
Whole phrases, commonplace and trivial,
Having no relation to my affairs.
Dear Mother, is any time left to us
In which to be happy? My debts are immense.
My bank account is subject to the court’s judgment.
I know nothing. I cannot know anything.
I have lost the ability to make an effort.
But now as before my love for you increases.
You are always armed to stone me, always:
It is true. It dates from childhood.
For the first time in my long life
I am almost happy. The book, almost finished,
Almost seems good. It will endure, a monument
To my obsessions, my hatred, my disgust.
Debts and inquietude persist and weaken me.
Satan glides before me, saying sweetly:
“Rest for a day! You can rest and play today.
Tonight you will work.” When night comes,
My mind, terrified by the arrears,
Bored by sadness, paralyzed by impotence,
Promises: “Tomorrow: I will tomorrow.”
Tomorrow the same comedy enacts itself
With the same resolution, the same weakness.
I am sick of this life of furnished rooms.
I am sick of having colds and headaches:
You know my strange life. Every day brings
Its quota of wrath. You little know
A poet’s life, dear Mother: I must write poems,
The most fatiguing of occupations.
I am sad this morning. Do not reproach me.
I write from a café near the post office,
Amid the click of billiard balls, the clatter of dishes,
The pounding of my heart. I have been asked to write
“A History of Caricature.” I have been asked to write
“A History of Sculpture.” Shall I write a history
Of the caricatures of the sculptures of you in my heart?
Although it costs you countless agony,
Although you cannot believe it necessary,
And doubt that the sum is accurate,
Please send me money enough for at least three weeks.
Delmore Schwartz's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Baudelaire by Delmore Schwartz )
- Corruption, Sandra Feldman
- Cannot Take Care, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- The Beautiful Story of You, Corey Jones
- AA, Vera Sidhwa
- Hell is dumb and sore throats are stupid., Jena Crowe
- 100 Years of War, Robert Green
- The Dog, Deborah Eker
- Cutting Back Government, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- He's right;, george albot
- Dove, Nathan Beery
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
Walter de la Mare
(1873 - 1958)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)