Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A David Schubert poem

April is National Poetry Month. In nearly eleven years of blogging, I have taken notice of this month just once. For anyone who loves poetry, the idea of month is silly. Poetry is every day. “For poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thought, human passions, emotions, language”: Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Here is a poem with blossoms, a love poem, by David Schubert (1913–1946), whose exuberance and wit belie the circumstances of his short life. Schubert is, to my mind, one of the great American poets, though his work remains little known. I am lucky to have found my way to it.

A related post
David Schubert, TR5-3718

[“Hail and farewell”: Ave atque vale, from the Roman poet Catullus’s poem addressed to his dead brother. Les Sylphides, unitalicized in the poem, is a 1909 ballet, choreography by Michel Fokine, music by Frédéric Chopin. I found Coleridge’s sentence in the entry for poetry in Webster’s New International Dictionary, second edition, a copy of which just came in the mail.]

comments: 4

Richard B. said...

Having thrice read the David Schubert poem and not understanding it, I returned to my dorm room and made sacrifice to the deities of Asphalt, and abased myself before the Altar of Reinforced Concrete to give thanks, once again, for being a civil engineering major.

The boy I'm currently dating is an English major, and I shall show him this poem, and seek enlightenment.

I wonder sometimes if poets who are not well known, or much remembered, are so for a reason. My taste in poetry runs more to Betjeman and Whitman.

Michael Leddy said...

The world needs all kinds of people, not just poets. :)

I would think of this poem as a matter of pleasure, really: the over-the-top “O,” the apostrophe and alliteration, the personification of life as a girl in a seersucker dress, the comedy of the poet as nature-lover (studying a single clover), and then the other person calling him. The ending is what makes me see it as a love poem: the poet meeting his other.

I like Whitman too, Betjeman not so much (though I love Larkin).

Anonymous said...

I would think
Of this poem
As a matter of pleasure,
Really: the over-the-top “O,”
The apostrophe
And alliteration,
The personification of life
As a girl
In a seersucker dress,
The comedy of the poet
As nature-lover
(studying a single clover),
And then the other person
Calling him.
The ending
What makes me see
It as a love poem:
The poet meeting
His Other.
I returned
To my dorm room
And made sacrifice
To the deities of Asphalt,
And abased myself
Before the Altar of
Reinforced Concrete
To give thanks,
Again, for being
A civil engineering major.
Shoe Burt
Like Whitman II,
Betjeman not so much
(though I love Larkin).
I would think
Of this poem.
The poet meeting
His Other.
Free verse.
Free Mumia.
Free form.
Free Masons.
As a matter of pleasure.

Fresca said...

Oh, nice. From the corner of a mood...
"Build me up, buttercup". :)