Read The Morning of the Poem by James Schuyler Online


"The flowers, trees, birds, clouds, and effects of light that Schuyler describes with such elan, even if only glimpsed from the window of his apartment, could easily be transposed to the poetry written in Japan or Persia many centuries ago. Even more, his culture and learning, worn so lightly as almost to pass unnoticed, link his verse to other and larger traditions, as in"The flowers, trees, birds, clouds, and effects of light that Schuyler describes with such elan, even if only glimpsed from the window of his apartment, could easily be transposed to the poetry written in Japan or Persia many centuries ago. Even more, his culture and learning, worn so lightly as almost to pass unnoticed, link his verse to other and larger traditions, as in this reflection on Baudelaire - clearly intended as an artistic credo of sorts ..." - Open Letters Monthly...

Title : The Morning of the Poem
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780374516222
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 128 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Morning of the Poem Reviews

  • Matthew
    2019-05-01 23:22

    The Morning of the Poem may be Schuyler's most acclaimed collection (awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1981) but it's my least favourite of the collections I've read (including The Crystal Lithium and Hymn to Life).The collection is broken into three parts: "New Poems", "The Payne Whitney Poems", and "The Morning of the Poem". There are many similarities between the first and second part, being the accumulation of shorter poems, whereas the third part consists entirely of one longer poem. Among the similarities in the first and second part are the poems named for dates (such as "June 30, 1974"; "December 29, 1974"; and "February 13, 1975"). In fact there seems to be a general fixation with dates (as in "Sleep" and "The Morning of the Poem")...Let me tell youthat this weekend Sundaymorning in the countryfills my soulwith tranquil joy - June 30, 1974 (pg. 5)The plants against the lightwhich shines in (it's four o'clock)right on my chair: I'm in my chair:are silhouettes, barely green,growing black as my eyes move right,right to where the sun is. - Dec 29, 1974 (pg. 13)Tomorrow is St. Valentine's:tomorrow I'll think aboutthat. Always nervous, evenafter a good sleep I'd liketo climb back into.... - February 13, 1975 (pg. 50)A day in February: heart-shaped cookies on St. Valentine's. - Sleep (pg. 51)July 8 or July 9 the eighth surely, certainly1976 that I know - The Morning of the Poem (pg. 57)Another similarity between the first and second part is the poet's incorporation of the title into the poem. Indeed, the title is often the first word or the first line of the poem (as in "The Snow" and "We Walk")...that fell and icedthe walks and streetsis melted off... - The Snow (pg. 27)in the garden. Sunon the riverflashing past.... - We Walk (pg. 44)Noteworthy is the poet's references to other poets. Whether the other poets were friends or influences, the collection is populated by many significant figures (such as W. H. Auden, Bertolt Brecht, and T. S. Eliot in "Wystan Auden"; Douglas Crase, John Ashbery, and Frank Polach in "Dining Out with Doug and Frank")... ...It was inthat apartment I just missedmeeting Brecht and T. S. Eliot.I remember Chester so often saying"Oh Wystan!" while Wystan lookedpleased at having stirred him up. - Wystan Auden (pg. 28)Doug (Douglas Chase, the poet)had to work (he makes his breadwriting speeches)... - Dining Out with Doug and Frank, II (pg. 32)By the by did you knowthat John Ashbery's grandfatherwas offered an investment-inwhen George Eastman founded hisgreat corporation? He turned itdown.... - Dining Out with Doug and Frank, II (pg. 32)so I went with Frank (the poet,he makes his dough as a librarian,botanical librarian at Rutgersand as a worker he's a beaver... - Dining Out with Doug and Frank, II (pg. 32)In fact, the poem "Wystan Auden" is a touching tribute to the poet W. H. Auden, who died in 1973...I always thought he would liveto a great age. He did not.Wystan, kind man and great poet,goodbye. - Wystan Auden (pg. 30)To my dismay, the poet seems to have lost his sense of humour. Although he may have won the Pulitzer Prize for the same reason. After all, literary prizes are commonly awarded to those who ascribe to or aspire to "high seriousness". Schuyler himself refers to the critical response to his new poems, referring not to their "seriousness" but to their "openness" (in "Dec 28, 1974"). The perception is that a poet should grow from humorous to serious. But I would sooner call it a regression, an estrangement from what is unique about the poet. He is, however, dismissive of the label......"Your poems,"a clunkhead said, "have grownmore open." I don't want to be open, merely to say, to see and say, thingsas they are. That at my elbow there is a wicker table.... - Dec 29, 1974 (pg. 13)The "seriousness" that I detect in this collection is primarily derived from a poem that deals, with the seriousness of the confessional poets, with Schuyler's illness and convalescence. It is no wonder to me that this is Schuyler's most critically acclaimed collection, considering the generally accepted (or encouraged) modern archetype of the poet as outsider, doomed to suffer. The poet's worth is therefore measured by the amount they suffer. Schuyler, perhaps anticipating the public reaction, writes candidly about his suffering (if anyone ever asked "What do you have to do to win the Pulitzer?" the answer is here)...The past ten monthswere something else:pneumonia, diabetes, afire in bed (extase, cauchemar,sommeil dans un nid de flammes)months getting skin grafts for third-degreeburns (for laughs, trysleeping in an airplanesplint) and gettingpoisoned by the sideeffects of a potenttranquilizer: it took two more months tolearn to walk againand when I came outfeeling great whama nervous breakdown: fourweeks in another hospital.- Afterward (pg. 22-23)The third part, the longer poem "The Morning of the Poem", is spoiled by one line..."Strange business" the chinky Chinaman said... - The Morning of the Poem (pg. 57)I'm irked by the poet's insensitivity. The line in question is blatant racist, and blatantly offensive (it serves no other purpose). Perhaps for this reason I didn't give the longer poem a chance. Or perhaps it enabled me to read the longer poem more critically. In any case, I found the poem long-winded and rambling. Granted, I once counted Schuyler's rambling style to be among his virtues. But here I found it overindulgent and unfocused.Moreover, in the longer poem, as in other poems, the poet is preoccupied with the everyday, with the mundane. In previous collections, the mundane was enhanced by the poet's humorous outlook. But, as I stated earlier, the poet seems to have lost his sense of humour. The mundane that was elevated by the poet's humour is here restored to the mundane. The poet seems merely to be passing the time...I pick up a loaded pen and twiddle it.After the blizzardcold days of shrinking snow.At visiting hours the carsbelow my window form upin a traffic jam. A fast-moving man is in charge,herding the big machineslike cattle. Weirdly, it allkeeps moving somehow. I reada dumb detective story. Iclip my nails: they are as hardas iron or glass. The clipperskeep sliding off them. TodayI'm shaky. A shave, a bath.Chat. The morning paper.Sitting. Staring. Thinking blankly.TV. A desert kind of life. - Pastime (pg. 52)

  • Rodney
    2019-05-18 23:40

    Liking Schuyler’s poetry is like liking vacations or puppies—you know everyone else likes it, too, but the appreciation’s no less personal for the awareness that it’s shared with many others. The trick has something to do with Schuyler’s way of turning familiar domestic enjoyments into occasions for perceiving the mind’s syntax at work in organizing data into feeling, like letters or diary entries but with an understated finish and light application of “elevated” language that gives them a more self-consciously meditative turn. The effect’s so rich that it’s better I think in small doses, so I prefer this late great collection to the Collected.

  • Michael
    2019-05-17 00:48

    I first read this a few years ago, and it remains one of a very few books of poetry I've read in the last ten years. Schuyler is always more coherent than Ashbery, though in the shorter pieces in this collection, Schuyler fails to make the strong, though random, impressions that Ashbery makes at his best.However, the long poem Morning of the Poem which reads more like a story, the calmed ravings of a superficial man far past his prime, living in a trance of memory in western New York, is magnificent in a dull, soft-toned manner, perfect for rainy day reading, squinting through a hangover. He loves his clothing and his Atlantic Ocean and his fancy friends and good food and drink, and hung dudes, and its a joy to read his pleasant memories.

  • Brian Wasserman
    2019-05-15 17:21

    rambling on going poems, atrocious poetic form

  • kaelan
    2019-05-07 00:36

    They tell us that the author has long since bought the farm (so to speak). But James Schuyler makes it difficult to put that principle into practice. This is because The Morning of the Poem occupies a middle ground between poetry and diary entry, which means that it makes just about as much sense to read these poems without an eye to Schuyler's biography as it would to read someone's journal qua an (inter)textual object devoid of any authorial/psychological intent.Indeed, Schuyler's knack for metaphor and imagery notwithstanding, what's truly fascinating about these works is how they all serve to describe (albeit in a fragmented, piecemeal fashion) a narrative that lies beyond the written page—that is, how they describe a life. Hence, it doesn't seem critically presumptuous to ask questions like whether or not the Jesuit priests favourably mentioned in both "I Sit Down to Type" ("a Jesuit priest I will / call 'Father Bill' is / going to heaven") and "The Morning of the Poem" ("except for Father Lynch, I can / Live without Jesuits") are in fact one and the same person. Nor to claim that "The Payne Whitney Poems" are all united by Schuyler's real-life stint in a mental institution—a biographical tidbit that embues these eleven short pieces with a hightened sense of psychological urgency.Two further results of the extra-textual (i.e., biographical) nature of these poems: 1) they work better as a set than individually, and 2) because if its length, "The Morning of the Poem" is by and large the strongest of the bunch.* For like the diaries of Samuel Pepys, the more you read of Schuyler's poetry the better it gets.*As in, literally large.

  • H
    2019-05-24 18:23

    So many lousy poetsSo few good onesWhat's the problem?No innate love ofWords, no sense ofHow the thing saidIs in the words, howThe words are themselvesThe thing said: love,Mistake, promise, autoCrack-up, color, petalThe color in the petalIs merely lightAnd that's refraction:A word, that's the poem.A blackish-red nasturtium.

  • Wally
    2019-05-24 17:39

    This book is incredible. You'll fall in love with Schuyler and want to sit quietly with him, not asking him anything, not begging to be inspired, just to sit quietly with him looking out the window watching the world, your hungers, your thirsts, and your desires, go by.

  • Carolyn
    2019-05-19 22:31

    I love his casual yet precise, start in the middle and off and running, tender, thoughtful poems. This collection has the long Morning of the Poem which is so full and layered, poignant and sweet - it is the best. His works are a treasure.

  • Book Child
    2019-05-15 17:27

    BUY IT

  • Mills College Library
    2019-05-07 01:40

    811.54 S397m 1980

  • Timothy Green
    2019-05-20 20:30

    The title poem is engrossing and memorable, the rest are kind of 'meh.' But so worth it for the title poem, and it's most of the book.

  • Simon
    2019-04-27 00:48

    Gah! These poems are fucking amazing.

  • W.B.
    2019-05-07 20:44

    One of the the most deserved Pulitzers ever awarded.