Delmore Schwartz

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

Calmly We Walk Through This April's Day - Poem by Delmore Schwartz

Calmly we walk through this April's day,
Metropolitan poetry here and there,
In the park sit pauper and rentier,
The screaming children, the motor-car
Fugitive about us, running away,
Between the worker and the millionaire
Number provides all distances,
It is Nineteen Thirty-Seven now,
Many great dears are taken away,
What will become of you and me
(This is the school in which we learn...)
Besides the photo and the memory?
(...that time is the fire in which we burn.)

(This is the school in which we learn...)
What is the self amid this blaze?
What am I now that I was then
Which I shall suffer and act again,
The theodicy I wrote in my high school days
Restored all life from infancy,
The children shouting are bright as they run
(This is the school in which they learn . . .)
Ravished entirely in their passing play!
(...that time is the fire in which they burn.)

Avid its rush, that reeling blaze!
Where is my father and Eleanor?
Not where are they now, dead seven years,
But what they were then?
No more? No more?
From Nineteen-Fourteen to the present day,
Bert Spira and Rhoda consume, consume
Not where they are now (where are they now?)
But what they were then, both beautiful;

Each minute bursts in 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!)
What am I now that I was then?
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.


Comments about Calmly We Walk Through This April's Day by Delmore Schwartz

  • Terry Craddock (12/8/2016 10:51:00 PM)


    In the park sit pauper and rentier,
    The screaming children, the motor-car
    Fugitive about us, running away'

    the normality of calm disorder within a busy crowded park, in this poem April was long lasting
    (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (12/8/2016 3:07:00 PM)


    'What am I now that I was then
    Which I shall suffer and act again, '
    The time passes and we don't change in self during this process of evolution.It is really a beautiful poem.Voted 10.
    (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (12/8/2016 10:41:00 AM)


    ' Time is the school in which we learn, Time is the fire in which we burn' is so meaningful lines. Very nice poem and thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • R Soos (12/8/2016 9:21:00 AM)

    warming my morning
    Delmore found the spot that warmed my heart on this cold winter morning: May memory restore again and again the smallest color of the smallest day. Amen (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (12/8/2016 12:52:00 AM)

    Again and again
    Calmly we walk. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (12/8/2016 12:50:00 AM)


    The smallest color of the smallest day:
    Time is the school in which we learn, ..

    Thanks for sharing...
    (Report) Reply

  • Howard 'the motivational poet' Simon (5/23/2015 4:24:00 PM)


    A compelling.call for introspection. (Report) Reply

  • (5/30/2014 8:58:00 PM)


    ..............a walk on an april's day is always a joy.....beautiful poem (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: school, fire, memory, april, children, poetry, car, running, father, beautiful, time, child



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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