Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 20 total)
  • Author
  • #1093051

    I fell in love with the poetry of Delmore Schwartz when I was 28. Summer Knowledge was one of his late poems. What does it mean? Just read it aloud, as though in conversation and without attempting to sound ‘poetic’, with a brief pause at the end of each line, and its beauty may become clear?? The meaning is in the sound.


    Summer knowledge is not the winter’s truth, the truth of fall,
    the autumn’s fruition, vision and recognition:
    It is not May knowledge, little and leafing and growing green,
    blooming out and blossoming white,
    It is not the knowing and the knowledge of the gold fall and
    the ripened darkening vineyard,
    Nor the black tormented, drenched and rainy knowledge of birth, April, and travail,
    The knowledge of the womb’s convulsions, and the coiled cord’s
    ravelled artery, severed and cut open,as the root forces its
    way up from the dark loam:
    The agony of the first knowledge of pain is worse than death,
    or worse than the thought of death:
    No poppy, no preparation, no initiation, no illusion, only
    the beginning, so distant from all knowledge and all
    conclusion, all indecision and all illusion.

    Summer knowledge is green knowledge, country knowledge,
    the knowledge of growing and the supple recognition
    of the fullness and the fatness and the roundness of
    It is bird knowledge and the knowing that trees possess when
    The sap ascends to the leaf and the flower and the fruit,
    Which the root never sees and the root believes in the darkness and the ignorance of winter knowledge
    —The knowledge of the fruit is not the knowledge possessed
    by the root in its indomitable darkness of ambition
    Which is the condition of belief beyond conception of
    experience or the gratification of fruition.

    Summer knowledge is not picture knowledge, nor is it the
    knowledge of lore and learning.
    It is not the knowledge known from the mountain’s height, it
    is not the garden’s view of the distant mountains of hidden
    It is not the still vision in a gold frame, it is not the
    measured and treasured sentences of sentiments;
    It is cat knowledge, deer knowledge, the knowledge of the
    full-grown foliage, of the snowy blossom and the rounding
    It is the phoenix knowledge of the wine and grape near
    summer’s end, when the grape swells and the apple reddens:
    It is the knowledge of the ripening apple when it moves to the
    fullness of the time of falling to rottenness and death.

    For summer knowledge is the knowledge of death as birth,
    Of death as the soil of all abounding flowering flaring rebirth.
    it is the knowledge of the truth of love and the truth of growing:
    it is the knowledge before and after knowledge:

    For, in a way, summer knowledge is not knowledge at all: it is
    second nature, first nature fulfilled, a new birth
    and a new death for rebirth, soaring and rising out
    of the flames of turning October, burning November,
    the towering and falling fires, growing more and
    more vivid and tall
    In the consummation and the annihilation of the blaze of fall.


    Poetry is what one makes it in my opinion.

    2 members liked this post.


    for me

    has never been or will be

    my cup of tea


    Take for instance this thought……poetry in motion…..poetic justice and many other terms….or thoughts or ideas. All i’m saying in my own way is that poetry is a far wider concept than any one person can determine. In my opinion…….poetry was designed as art… and poetry can never be contained…unless it gets offensive and goes against the whole substance of what it stands for in the first place.


    However i must add here…i mean no offence to sceppers. He did things or read things from by gone years ago….could call it all classical…Golden age perhaps….only Poirot can work this out….LOL….just use the grey cells Hastings……LOL…….ok every one in the library where i tell you in a highly pompous way how it was done and by whom….what do you mean you could have worked it out your self in the first five minutes? LOLOLOLOLO

    Some one keeps adding earth to Miss Marples allotment……hmm says Poirot…the plot thickens…LMAO….don’t the Venus de Milo says…i mean you no ‘arm….LOLOLOL


    i mean no offence to sceppers.

    Mister q, if I knew what point you were trying to make, I’d know whether to take offence or not.

    I was very pleased when mizzy started writing poems here, and actually found it liberating., posting one of my own. It was her stress on not allowing yourself to be overawed by the rules of verse or the great poets. I loved poetry but did find myself overawed by the fact that they were so much better than I was.

    There’s nothing wrong with posting some of these poems, or poems which may not have been read by many, and I’ll do this.

    But I’m not sure if anyone is protesting against this?

    I’ll assume not.

    1 member liked this post.

    You assume correctly sceppers. I’m just voicing my opinion which incidently has nothing to do with Sarah. In fact sceppers…..why take offence at all? I cannot and will not defend mizzy….Sarah however is my friend. i notice Sarah has included mizzy in her name, that’s up to her but i don’t go backwards.

    Your free to write what ever you like sceppers……you have my word i won’t interfere in your posts again.

    2 members liked this post.

    I think that poem was beautiful.


    I think I got it, but maybe that’s because I am a Mother, open to interpretation I guess, as poetry is.


    I think its great people post up poetry.

    Was a good poem scep.

    All poetry has significance, even if it is only to the writer.  I do not believe people write for others in general but for themselves.

    I think everyone should have a go at writing, drawing, making music, or anything creative.

    Sometimes the simplest of poems, one without the need for lengthy words, heavy descriptions or analogies can be the most thought provoking, they can invoke passion, remind of you of past memories and some will tell a story.

    I don’t believe any poem is ‘crap’ or ‘bad’ they are merely not to everyone’s taste.  Since we are all individuals why not write if you have something to say?

    For example:

    She tripped over her lace, she banged her head

    Hit the ground very hard, alas she’s now dead

    The joyful twitters of the birds in the sky

    They will keep on singing, will continue to fly

    For every day, turns into another

    But she will be forever dearly missed, by her mother.

    This contains no flowery language, very little description, is short and sweet and there really is very little to it.

    But, it is still a poem and still will make people think even if it is in some small way – about how people die and the birds still sing and life still continues on.

    I just wrote that to explain how I see poetry.

    Even if people call what I just wrote ‘crap’.  It is what it is.  Merely an example.

    And hi Misterq x

    I always appreciate your kind comments x




    • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  Sairs73.
    • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  Sairs73.
    • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  Sairs73.
    • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  Sairs73.
    1 member liked this post.
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 20 total)

Get involved in this discussion! Log in or register now to have your say!