Delmore Schwartz

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

Sonnet: O City, City - Poem by Delmore Schwartz

To live between terms, to live where death
has his loud picture in the subway ride,
Being amid six million souls, their breath
An empty song suppressed on every side,
Where the sliding auto's catastrophe
Is a gust past the curb, where numb and high
The office building rises to its tyranny,
Is our anguished diminution until we die.

Whence, if ever, shall come the actuality
Of a voice speaking the mind's knowing,
The sunlight bright on the green windowshade,
And the self articulate, affectionate, and flowing,
Ease, warmth, light, the utter showing,
When in the white bed all things are made.

Comments about Sonnet: O City, City by Delmore Schwartz

  • Michael Walker (8/26/2019 9:46:00 PM)

    A pessimistic but convincing picture of life in a very big city.
    'The office building rises to its tyranny'. That is true for office workers
    in a city. Striking personification.

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Read poems about / on: city, song, green, death, light, sonnet, rose

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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