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
Delmore Schwartz

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-
    ness—
The hope, and the pain of hope, and the patience of hope, and its
    torment, its astonishment, its endlessness.

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