Carl Schmitt’s seventh son, my father John Stuart Schmitt, died two years ago this past Friday, August 22. This brief poem by Carl Schmitt captures in an uncanny way the character of a man who carried on his father’s legacy in an exceptionally fruitful, yet unassuming way.
We felt the stable universe was in his soul
Where body joined it. Quietly the two were one.
We saw him when we saw soil-knit, the giant bole
Of some great tree; we heard him in the benison
Of bells in villages . . . and now he’s gone.
His eyes could look on visions for his heart was clean,
And in humility he knew the sins of man
Because he knew himself. And sometimes in the sheen
Of rivers we could see ourselves, a caravan
Winding away to the sea. And now he’s gone.
August 25, 1927