Posts Tagged ‘Life Denial’

For The One Who Would Not

Take His Life In His Hand- Delmore Schwartz

Athlete, virtuoso,

Training for happiness,

Bend arm and knee, and seek

The body’s sharp distress,

For pain is pleasure’s cost,

Denial is route

To speech before the millions

Or personal with the flute.

The ape and great Achilles,

Heavy with their fate,

Batter doors down, strike

Small children at the gate,

Driven by love to this,

As knock-kneed Hegel said,

To seek with a sword their peace,

That the child may be taken away

From the hurly-burly and fed.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The curious Socrates,

I have asked, What is this life

But a childermass,

As Abraham recognized,

A working with the knife

At animal, maid and stone

Until we have cut down

All but the soul alone:

Through hate we guard our love,

And its distinction’s known.


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