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David Schubert (1913–1946) was an American poet. An excellent student, he had been accepted to Amherst at the age of 16. The poet Robert Frost was one of his professors there and showed him kindness, but in part due to mental instability the college asked him to leave. Though diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia he had poems published in prestigious poetry magazines during the Depression. David Schubert died of tuberculosis at the age of 33.
During a breakdown Schubert destroyed a large portion of his work, but after his death his ex-wife spent years piecing his poems together. She then found him a publisher who put out Initial A in 1961. More recently an expanded edition of his work has been released as Works and Days.
William Carlos Williams said of David Schubert: "To sit down for a little while and reread some of Schubert’s rare and poignant verse is like opening a window in a room that had become stuffy without one’s realizing it." John Ashbery dedicated a chapter of Other Traditions to Schubert, in which he relates coming to the same conclusion: "I myself value Schubert more than Pound or Eliot, and it's a relief to have an authority of the stature of Williams to back me up."
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