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Delmore Schwartz

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

The Journey Of A Poem Compared To All The Sad Variety Of Travel


A poem moves forward,
Like the passages and percussions of trains in progress
A pattern of recurrence, a hammer of repetetiveoccurrence

a slow less and less heard
low thunder under all passengers

Steel sounds tripping and tripled and
Grinding, revolving, gripping, turning, and returning
as the flung carpet of the wide countryside spreads out on
each side in billows

And in isolation, rolled out, white house, red barn, squat silo,
Pasture, hill, meadow and woodland pasture
And the striped poles step fast past the train windows
Second after second takes snapshots, clicking,
Into the dangled boxes of glinting windows
Snapshots and selections, rejections, at angles, of shadows
A small town: a shop's sign - GARAGE, and then white gates
Where waiting cars wait with the unrest of trembling
Breathing hard and idling, until the slow~descent
Of the red cones of sunset: a dead march: a slow tread and heavy

Of the slowed horses of Apollo
- Until the slowed horses of Apollo go over the horizon
And all things are parked, slowly or willingly,
into the customary or at random places.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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