Delmore Schwartz

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

Saint, Revolutionist - Poem by Delmore Schwartz

Saint, revolutionist,
God and sage know well,
That there is a place
Where that much-rung bell,
The well-beloved body,
And its sensitive face
Must be sacrificed.

There is, it seems, in this
A something meaningless,
Hanging without support
And yet too dear to touch,
That life should seek its end
Where no will can descend,
Facing a gun to see
Long actuality.

What is this that is
The good of nothingness,
The death of Socrates
And that strange man on the cross
Seeking out all loss?
For men love life until
It shames both face and will.

Neither in hell nor heaven
Is the answer given,
Both are a servant's pay:
But they wish to know
how far the will can go,
Lest their infinite play
And their desires be
Shadow and mockery.


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Read poems about / on: loss, heaven, death, god, life



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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