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Poem (Remember midsummer: the fragrance of box) Analysis

Author: poem of Delmore Schwartz Type: poem Views: 2

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Remember midsummer: the fragrance of box, of white


And of phlox. And upon a honeysuckle branch

Three 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 hills


There is a whir, a thrashing in the bush, and a startled

    pheasant, 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 I


                the most - I heard nothing, but it

                had all happened several times elsewhere.

Now, in the cold glittering morning, shining at the


The pears hang, yellowed and over-ripe, sodden brown in

                erratic places, all bunched and dangling,

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

    rise now,

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

-- And see! -- the fields are pencilled light brown

                or are the dark brownness of the last autumn

-- So much has shrunken to straight brown lines, thin as


                bare thin trees,

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

Shrivelled and fallen, but shrill-voiced when the wind


Are scattered like the long abandoned hopes and ambitions

Of an adolescence which, for a very long time, has been


A recurrent target and taunt of the inescapable mockery of



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