During December’s Death by Delmore Schwartz
Ah, poetry. What would my life have been without you. I’m a mess, with all these words at my disposal, but even more so without them.
During December’s Death
The afternoon turned dark early;
The light suddenly faded;
The dusk was black although, elsewhere, the first star in the cold
sky suddenly whistled;
And I thought I heard the fresh scraping of the flying steel of boys
on roller skates
Rollicking over the asphalt in 1926,
And I thought I heard the dusk and silence raided
By a calm voice commanding consciousness:
Wait: wait: wait as if you had always waited
And as if it had always been dark
And as if the world had been from the beginning
A lost and drunken ark in which the only light
Was the dread and white of the terrified animals’ eyes.
And then, turning on the light, I took a book
That I might gaze upon another’s vision of the abyss of conscious-
The hope, and the pain of hope, and the patience of hope, and its
torment, its astonishment, its endlessness.