Delmore Schwartz

8 December 1913 - 11 July 1966 / Brooklyn / New York / United States

Philology Recapitulates Ontology, Poetry Is Ontology

Faithful to your commandments, o consciousness, o

Holy bird of words soaring ever whether to nothingness or
to inconceivable fulfillment slowly:

And still I follow you, awkward as that dandy of ontology
and as awkward as his albatross and as

another dandy of ontology before him, another shepherd
and watchdog of being, the one who

Talked forever of forever as if forever of having been
and being an ancient mariner,

Hesitant forever as if forever were the albatross

Hung round his neck by the seven seas of the seven muses,

and with as little conclusion, since being never concludes,

Studying the sibilance and the splashing of the seas and of
seeing and of being's infinite seas,

Staring at the ever-blue and the far small stars and
the faint white endless curtain of the
twinkling play's endless seasons.
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