Bradley T. Van Deusen

Bradley T. Van Deusen

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The Meddler
University of Chicago Daily Maroon, 28 Dec 1828
By The Saturnine Seaman.

"You will forgive me Sweetheart? 
I love you... 
You are my intensified dream of ages 
Quiet and calm browed... 

You will forgive me? 
The sadness that I cause, 
The aching pain of unfulfilled desire, 
The happiness that may not be ours. 
The long nights of desolation. 
The graying days of loneliness... 
You will forgive them? 

A fighter I! 
Uncouth and huge in the softness of your life 
Out of place... 
My mind forever perplexed with vague visions 
Of a flaunting, flaming death 
In some far colorful land. 
You were content before I came 
Content with your life 
And your flat voiced, quietly egotistical lover. 
You would have gone to him quietly 
No desire or passion -- only -- quietly satisfied 
You would have had an apartment 
Like thousands of other fools. 
You would have borne quiet children 
And after a fashion ... you would have been content. 
Then I came ... a Chimera of pain 
Deep in my eyes 
The smile of a child 
And the mouth of a lover. 
Unkempt, huge and rather whistful -- 
Strange tales and bright ribbons 
Bringing romance into your drab life. 
I would not shatter the soft platitude of your life 
By my passionate desire 
yet I love you! 
You will forgive me? 

         The Saturnine Seaman.

For The Saturnine Seaman
University of Chicago Daily Maroon, 16 Jan 1829
By Mary.

Proud Young Man

You ask me to forgive you. 
Is it not enough to say -- 'I love you'? 
You have come down to me from Olympus 
Quickening and intoxicating me 
Demanding all! 
With your bold egoism and charming smile, 

You have come -- a tousel-headed swain 
From the North Seas 
Wild and erratic; 
But your eyes have the wistfulness 
Of calm grey waters. 
And your caresses -- singularly tender for one 
So stalwart -- envelope me in all the rapture 
Of disenthralled passion. 

Because I am slow in giving 
And have not known the ways 
Of gods and seaman 
You must depart 
But come or go-- 
I love you.  


Historical Notes


Father was pure emotion; mother cool logic. He knew from the first that she was the one he wanted. She fought it when she could, but he was too strong for her to resist. Within the poetry column you can watch her pull back and they actually break up - much as they would do in 1944 after ten years of marriage. Father put her on a pedestal. She just wished he'd bring home bread.

This is also mother using 'Mary' as a pseudonym, the name she would later give me. Later, father would write a poem 'To Suskind,' the middle name they would give me.

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