Delmore Schwartz

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

Phoenix Lyrics


I

If nature is life, nature is death:
It is winter as it is spring:
Confusion is variety, variety
And confusion in everything
Make experience the true conclusion
Of all desire and opulence,
All satisfaction and poverty.

II

When a hundred years had passed nature seemed to man
a clock
Another century sank away and nature seemed a jungle
in a rock
And now that nature has become a ticking and hidden
bomb how we must mock
Newton, Democritus, the Deity
The heart's ingenuity and the mind's infinite
uncontrollable
insatiable curiosity.

III

Purple black cloud at sunset: it is late August
and the light begins to look cold, and as we look,
listen and look, we hear the first drums of autumn.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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