Poem (The day gets slowly started)

By James Schuyler 1923–1991 James Schuyler
The day gets slowly started.
A rap at the bedroom door,
bitter coffee, hot cereal, juice
the color of sun which
isn’t out this morning. A
cool shower, a shave, soothing
Noxzema for razor burn. A bed
is made. The paper doesn’t come
until twelve or one. A gray shine
out the windows. “No one
leaves the building until
those scissors are returned.”
It’s that kind of a place.
Nonetheless, I’ve seen worse.
The worried gray is melting
into sunlight. I wish I’d
brought my book of enlightening
literary essays. I wish it
were lunch time. I wish I had
an appetite. The day agrees
with me better than it did, or,
better, I agree with it. I’ll
slide down a sunslip yet, this
crass September morning.

Excerpt from Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems by James Schuyler, edited by James Meetze and Simon Pettet, to be published in April 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2010 by the Estate of James Schuyler. All rights reserved.


Source: Poetry (November 2009).

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2009

Biography

Pulitzer Prize winning poet James Schuyler was a central member of the New York School.  He was born in Chicago, Illinois and spent his teen years in East Aurora, New York, before attending Bethany College in West Virginia. During World War II, Schuyler served on a destroyer in the North Atlantic and remained in the US Navy until 1947. Before moving to New York in 1950, Schuyler lived for two years on the Isle of Ischia in Italy . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Home Life, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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