Summer 1958 • Vol. XX No. 3 Poetry |

Poem (The Foggy, Foggy Playboy)

When I was a young man, I lived to write poems   And I called a spade a spade And the only only thing that made me sing   Was to lift the masks at the masquerade. I took them from my own face,   I took them off others too And the only only wrong in all my song   Was the view that I knew what was true. Now I am older and tireder too   And the tasks with the masks are quite trying. I'd gladly gladly stop if I only only knew   A better way to keep from lying, And not get nervous and blue   When I said something quite untrue: I looked all around and all over   To find something else to do: I tried to be less romantic   I tried to be less starry-eyed too: But I only got mixed up and frantic   Forgetting what was false and what was true. But tonight I am going to the masked ball,   Because it has occurred to me That the masks are more true than the faces:  —Perhaps this too is poetry? I no longer yearn to be naive and stern   And

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In 1959, Delmore Schwartz became the youngest recipient of the Bollingen Prize, awarded for a collection of poetry published that year, Summer Knowledge: New and Selected Poems. Three years later, he was teaching at Syracuse University when KR published a selection of new poems.

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