Delmore Schwartz

Sonnet On Famous And Familiar Sonnets And Experiences

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Shall I compare her to a summer play?
She is too clever, too devious, too subtle, too dark:
Her lies are rare, but then she paves the way
Beyond the summer's sway, within the jejune park
Where all souls' aspiration to true nobility
Obliges Statues in the Frieze of Death
And when this pantomime and Panama of Panorama Fails,
"I'll never speak to you agayne" -- or waste her panting breath.

When I but think of how her years are spent
Deadening that one talent which -- for woman is --
Death or paralysis, denied: nature's intent
That each girl be a mother -- whether or not she is
Or has become a lawful wife or bride
-- 0 Alma Magna Mater, deathless the living death of pride.

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Delmore Schwartz