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Thursday, April 1, 2004

Thursday April 1, 2004

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Poetry Month:

Stevens as a Riviera Presbyterian

He never supposed
That he might be truth, himself, or part of it,
That the things that he rejected might be part
And the irregular turquoise, part, the perceptible blue
Grown denser, part, the eye so touched, so played
Upon by clouds, the ear so magnified
By thunder, parts, and all these things together,
Parts, and more things, parts. He never supposed divine
Things might not look divine, nor that if nothing
Was divine then all things were, the world itself,
And that if nothing was the the truth, then all
Things were the truth, the world itself was the truth.

Had he been better able to suppose:
He might sit on a sofa on a balcony
Above the Mediterranean, emerald
Becoming emeralds. He might watch the palms
Flap green ears in the heat. He might observe
A yellow wine and follow a steamer’s track
And say, “The thing I hum appears to be
The rhythm of this celestial pantomime.”

— from Wallace Stevens, “Landscape with Boat”

(See the previous entry, which mentions Stevens and Jeffers as poets with a Presbyterian background, and also an essay by Justin Quinn that compares Stevens with Jeffers in the context of the poem quoted above.)

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