Each minute bursts in the burning room,The great globe reels in the solar fire,Spinning the trivial and unique away.(How all things flash! How all things flare!)What am I now that I was then?May memory restore again and againThe smallest color of the smallest day:Time is the school in which we learn,Time is the fire in which we burn.
"Calmly We Walk Through This April's Day" in In Dreams Begin Responsibilities (1938); this poem has also been printed under the title "For Rhoda" Full text online
Where the light is, and each thing clear,Separate from all others, standing in its place,I drink the time and touch whatever's near,And hope for day when the whole world has that face:For what assures her present every year?In dark accidents the mind's sufficient grace.Delmore Schwartz
How the false truths of the years of youth have passed!Have passed at full speed like trains which never stoppedThere where I stood and waited, hardly aware,How little I knew, or which of them was the oneTo mount and ride to hope or where true hope arrives.Delmore Schwartz
I no more wrote than read that book which isThe self I am, half hidden as it isFrom one and all who see within a kissThe lounging formless blackness of an abyss.How could I think the brief years were enoughTo prove the reality of endless love?Delmore Schwartz
But this, this which we say before we’re sorry,This which we live behind our unseen faces,Is neither dream, nor childhood, neitherMyth, nor landscape, final, nor finished,For we are incomplete and know no future,And we are howling or dancing out our soulsIn beating syllables before the curtain:We are Shakespearean, we are strangers.Delmore Schwartz
That inescapable animal walks with me,Has followed me since the black womb held,Moves where I move, distorting my gesture,A caricature, a swollen shadow,A stupid clown of the spirit's motive,Perplexes and affronts with his own darkness,The secret life of belly and bone.Delmore Schwartz