Delmore Schwartz

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

The Choir And Music Of Solitude And Silence Poem by Delmore Schwartz


Silence is a great blue bell
Swinging and ringing, tinkling and singing,
In measure’s pleasure, and in the supple symmetry
of the soaring of the immense intense wings
glinting against
All the blue radiance above us and within us, hidden
Save for the stars sparking, distant and unheard in their
singing.
And this is the first meaning of the famous saying,
The stars sang. They are the white birds of silence
And the meaning of the difficult famous saying that the
sons and daughters of morning sang,
Meant and means that they were and they are the children
of God and morning,
Delighting in the lights of becoming and the houses of
being,
Taking pleasure in measure and excess, in listening as in
seeing.

Love is the most difficult and dangerous form of courage.
Courage is the most desperate, admirable and noble kind of
love.

So that when the great blue bell of silence is stilled and
stopped or broken
By the babel and chaos of desire unrequited, irritated and
frustrated,
When the heart has opened and when the heart has spoken
Not of the purity and symmetry of gratification, but action
of insatiable distraction’s dissatisfaction,

Then the heart says, in all its blindness and faltering
emptiness:
There is no God. Because I am hope. And hope must be
fed.
And then the great blue bell of silence is deafened, dumbed,
and has become the tomb of the living dead.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Saturday, May 21, 2011

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