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Poem (Remember midsummer: the fragrance of box) Analysis

Author: Poetry of Delmore Schwartz Type: Poetry Views: 247

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1962Remember midsummer: the fragrance of box, of whiteroses

And of phlox. And upon a honeysuckle branchThree snails hanging with infinite delicacy

-- Clinging like tendril, flake and thread, as self-tormented

And self-delighted as any ballerina,just as in the orchard,

Near the apple trees, in the over-grown grasses

Drunken wasps clung to over-ripe pears

Which had fallen: swollen and disfigured.

For now it is wholly autumn: in the late

Afternoon as I walked toward the ridge where the hillsbegin,

There is a whir, a thrashing in the bush, and a startledpheasant, flying out and up,

Suddenly astonished me, breaking the waking dream.Last night

Snatches of sleep, streaked by dreams and half dreams

- So that, aloft in the dim sky, for almost an hour,

A sausage balloon - chalk-white and lifeless looking--floated motionless

Until, at midnight, I went to New Bedlam and saw what Ifearedthe most - I heard nothing, but ithad all happened several times elsewhere.Now, in the cold glittering morning, shining at thewindow,

The pears hang, yellowed and over-ripe, sodden brown inerratic places, all bunched and dangling,

Like a small choir of bagpipes, silent and waiting. And Irise now,

Go to the window and gaze at the fallen or falling country

-- And see! -- the fields are pencilled light brownor are the dark brownness of the last autumn

-- So much has shrunken to straight brown lines, thin asthebare thin trees,

Save where the cornstalks, white bones of the lost forever dead,

Shrivelled and fallen, but shrill-voiced when the windwhistles,

Are scattered like the long abandoned hopes and ambitionsOf an adolescence which, for a very long time, has beenmerely

A recurrent target and taunt of the inescapable mockery ofmemory.


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