Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Monday's Poem, A Day Late

This poem, "Robert Schumann," was written by Mary Oliver and was published in Dream Work (1986).



Robert Schumann



Hardly a day passes I don't think of him

in the asylum: younger



than I am now, trudging the long road down

through madness toward death.



Everywhere in this world his music

explodes out of itself, as he



could not. And now I understand

something so frightening, and wonderful--



how the mind clings to the road it knows, rushing

through crossroads, sticking



like lint to the familiar. So!

Hardly a day passes I don't



think of him: nineteen, say, and it is

spring in Germany



and he has just met a girl named Clara.

He turns the corner,



he scrapes the dirt from his soles,

he runs up the dark staircase, humming.

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