Delmore Schwartz

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

Sonnet On Famous And Familiar Sonnets And Experiences - Poem by Delmore Schwartz

(With much help from Robert Good, William Shakespeare,
John Milton, and little Catherine Schwartz)


Shall I compare her to a summer play?
She is too clever, too devious, too subtle, too dark:
Her lies are rare, but then she paves the way
Beyond the summer's sway, within the jejune park
Where all souls' aspiration to true nobility
Obliges Statues in the Frieze of Death
And when this pantomime and Panama of Panorama Fails,
"I'll never speak to you agayne" -- or waste her panting breath.

When I but think of how her years are spent
Deadening that one talent which -- for woman is --
Death or paralysis, denied: nature's intent
That each girl be a mother -- whether or not she is
Or has become a lawful wife or bride
-- 0 Alma Magna Mater, deathless the living death of pride.


Comments about Sonnet On Famous And Familiar Sonnets And Experiences by Delmore Schwartz

  • (1/27/2007 5:29:00 PM)


    Always skilful, always clever. Great imagination and intelligence at work in this as in all his work! (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: summer, pride, death, girl, woman, nature, mother, dark, sonnet, women



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
[Report Error]