Poetry by Delmore Schwartz
When this book was first published (as Summer Knowledge) in 1959, Delmore Schwartz was still riding a crest, the golden boy of the literary scene––a position he had commanded ever since the appearance of his first collection of stories and poems in 1938. Summer Knowledge won for him both the prestigious Bollingen Prize in Poetry and the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award. Ironically, indeed tragically, the praise and prizes Schwartz’s poems received did not forestall his decline, and this, his poetic testament, proved to be a final one as well. Overcome by mental illness, alienated from his friends and supporters, he disappeared from the literary scene, in the end to die in 1966 in an obscure Broadway hotel. The tragedy of his life pales before the triumph of his art and craft. Selected Poems clearly places him among the foremost poets of his generation.