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Selected Poems: Summer Knowledge

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  168 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews

When this book was first published (as Summer Knowledge) in 1959.
Delmore Schwartz was still riding a crest, the golden boy of the literary scene—a position he had commanded ever since the appearance of his first collection of stories and poems in 1938. Summer Knowledge won for him both the prestigious Bollingen Prize in Poetry and the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Me

Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 17th 1967 by New Directions (first published June 1967)
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I found out about this guy as a reference point of Lou Reed.

I dug into the book and was hooked for life.

This guy wrote so beautifully, it's almost everyday speech with some modernism and assorted philosophy thrown in for kicks.

Very underrated and goes sadly unappreciated for most people.

Check out a piece I did on him:
J. Alfred
Jan 28, 2013 J. Alfred rated it liked it
Everyone should read "The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me," which I take to be Schawrtz' most well-known and most meritorious poem. The rest of his work is well-crafted and pretty strong, but more or less forgettable-- I'm not surprised that he doesn't show up more in classes. He's kind of like a more sedate, less mysterious and more pun-loving version of Eliot-- modernism lite (sic).
While that sounds unaccountably harsh, I'd also like to point out that if you like Eliot or the idea of modernism li
Grady Ormsby
Jan 11, 2015 Grady Ormsby rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: the more-than-casual poetry reader
In 1938 twenty-five-year-old Delmore Schwartz burst like a meteor upon the American literary scene with the publication of his first book, In Dreams Begin Responsibilities. This collection of short stories and poems was well received and garnered praise from the likes of T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound. Schwartz was thought to be one of the most promising young writers of his generation. Unfortunately, also like a meteor, Schwartz’s success was short-lived. He was unable to fo ...more
Feb 20, 2013 Simonbudwake rated it it was amazing
The section Coriolanus and his Mother makes me want to go to graduate school, to better delve into the depths of that poem. Every few months I either revisit the poem or the Shakespeare play its based on and am further enlightened and further mystified.

The shorter lyrics in the first two segments of the book are also terrific. Especially the 2nd section, the fugues. "A dog named ego the snowflakes as kisses" is both a stunning examination of the nature of the mind, and a portrait of a simple sce
Mar 12, 2009 Alex rated it it was amazing
Shelves: american-poetry
John Berryman described Schwartz as 'the most underrated poet of the twentieth century', and this selection is testament to his claim. Impossible to do it justice in a short review, but the poems are challenging, often philosophical, and the kind that yield up more and more every time you read them. The later poems, in the second half of the book, have generally been critically rubbished, but I believe they represent a different, celebratory aspect to Schwartz: they are best read aloud.
Fred R
Dec 03, 2011 Fred R rated it really liked it
The poem in which he sits down and watches a performance of Coriolanus while Marx, Aristotle, Beethoven, and Freud discuss the action is to me genius, and more than makes up for most of the rest of the book.
Jul 30, 2011 Joe rated it it was amazing
"Some who are uncertain compel me. They fear the Ace of Spades." I was lucky enough to stumble upon Schwartz while in university, and he is still one of my favorite poets.
Oct 28, 2007 Jamey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Hey Schwartz: I love to love you, baby.
Oct 29, 2013 Tracy marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2013
Lou Reed got me here
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Delmore Schwartz was born December 8, 1913, in Brooklyn. The marriage of his parents Harry and Rose, both Roumanian immigrants, was doomed to fail. Sadly, this misfortune with relationships was also a theme in Schwartz's life. His alcoholism, frequent use of barbiturates and amphetamines, and battles with various mental diseases, proved adverse in his relationships with women. His first marriage t ...more
More about Delmore Schwartz...

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“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,
Opaque, too near, my private, yet unknown,
Stretches to embrace the very dear
With whom I would walk without him near,
Touches her grossly, although a word
Would bare my heart and make me clear,
Stumbles, flounders, and strives to be fed
Dragging me with him in his mouthing care,
Amid the hundred million of his kind,
The scrimmage of appetite everywhere.”
“For reality's glow and glory, without poetry,
Fade, like the red operas of sunset”
More quotes…