Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This essay will trace the concept of knowledge as it is found in the book entitled Selected Poems (1938-1958) i Summer Knowledge by 03lmore Schwartz. We know from the author's own words that this is a selection of poems not a collection. The point of view from which the poems have been chosen is that of summer knowledge. The meaning of "summer" knowledge will be clarified during the course of this essay. Although the author selected his poems from the viewpoint of summer knowledge, there is no obvious link between the poems. Rather a more general concept of knowledge seems to be the only connection between poems which cover a variety of topics.

This study will attempt to show the development in the concept of knowledge as it is found in the early poetry and in the later poems. In illustrating this development of thought, it will become obvious that Delmore Schwartz was greatly influenced by philosophical and psychological studies, which the author admits he found difficult keeping out of his creative works. In the later poems, however, the poet's development of thought integrates these background influences into a unified and new creation.

Poems for this paper have been selected from the early writings up0n the basis of their expression of the knowledge of man. The most important of these poems is entitled Coriolanus and His Mother." Other poems from the early period are chosen because they develop similar themes and/or use similar images . There is a heavy emphasis on knowledge of self, which is burdened by its own past or its own weaknesses.