Delmore Schwartz

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

The First Night Of Fall And Falling Rain - Poem by Delmore Schwartz

The common rain had come again
Slanting and colorless, pale and anonymous,
Fainting falling in the first evening
Of the first perception of the actual fall,
The long and late light had slowly gathered up
A sooty wood of clouded sky, dim and distant more and
more
Until, at dusk, the very sense of selfhood waned,
A weakening nothing halted, diminished or denied or set
aside,
Neither tea, nor, after an hour, whiskey,
Ice and then a pleasant glow, a burning,
And the first leaping wood fire
Since a cold night in May, too long ago to be more than
Merely a cold and vivid memory.
Staring, empty, and without thought
Beyond the rising mists of the emotion of causeless
sadness,
How suddenly all consciousness leaped in spontaneous
gladness,
Knowing without thinking how the falling rain (outside, all
over)
In slow sustained consistent vibration all over outside
Tapping window, streaking roof,
running down runnel and drain
Waking a sense, once more, of all that lived outside of us,
Beyond emotion, for beyond the swollen
distorted shadows and lights
Of the toy town and the vanity fair
of waking consciousness!


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Read poems about / on: running, rain, memory, fire, sky, light, night, rose



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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