Delmore Schwartz

Delmore Schwartz

About Delmore Schwartz

Delmore Schwartz, born December 8, 1913 in Brooklyn and died July 11, 1966 in New York, was an American poet and writer. He is best known for his famous poems The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me, In The Naked Bed and In Plato's Cave. His poems received praise from most respected literary figures like T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and Ezra Pound. In 1937, at the age of 24, he published his first story 'In Dreams Begin Responsibilities' in the initial issue of the Partisan Review, to which he remained associated by a long collaboration that lasted until his death. With this first story, Delmore Schwartz published the translation of Arthur Rimbaud's A Season in Hell (1939) followed in 1941, by Shenandoah and Other Verse Plays by New Directions, and Genesis: Book One in 1943 by the same publisher (which was never followed by the expected second volume).
In 1937, he married Gertrude Buckman, critic for the Partisan Review; the couple divorced in 1943. In 1948, he married a young novelist, Elizabeth Pollet, whom he divorced a few years later. For twenty years, Delmore Schwartz continued to publish short stories and poems in various magazines. Other stories were also collected in The World is a Marriage (1948), and in Successful Love (1961), and other poems in Summer Knowledge: New and Selected Poems (1959). For this last book, Schwartz was the youngest recipient of the Bollingen Prize. This poetry collection includes his famous poem Calmly We Walk Through This April's Day. In the early 1960s, Schwartz sank into alcoholism and an aggravated form of depression and insanity, living reclusively at the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan. Saul Bellow's novel Humboldt's Gift (1975) is largely inspired by Schwartz's last days. He died in his hotel room, at age 52, of a heart attack, two days passed before his body was identified at the morgue. Schwartz was inhumated at Cedar Park Cemetery, in Emerson, New Jersey.

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