James Schuyler: “Tomorrow is St. Valentine’s …”

“Tomorrow is St. Valentine’s,” James Schuyler wrote in a poem 41 years ago today.  “Tomorrow I’ll think about / that.”  The poem (which one of my grad students, the poet Paige Lewis, reminded me of today) appeared as  part of Schuyler’s sequence “The Payne Whitney Poems,” a series written while he was institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital following one of his many mental breakdowns.

Once again, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and tomorrow you can think about that.  In the meantime, here is Schuyler’s poem:

February 13, 1975


Tomorrow is St. Valentine’s:
tomorrow I’ll think about
that. Always nervous, even
after a good sleep I’d like
to climb back into. The sun
shines on yesterday’s new-
fallen snow and yestereven
it turned the world to pink
and rose and steel-blue
buildings. Helene is restless:
leaving soon. And what then
will I do with myself? Some-
one is watching morning
TV. I’m not reduced to that
yet. I wish one could press
snowflakes in a book like flowers.
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