Friday, October 2, 2009
WALLACE STEVENS b OCTOBER 2 1879
The difficulty to think at the end of day,
When the shapeless shadow covers the sun
And nothing is left except light on your fur—
There was the cat slopping its milk all day,
Fat cat, red tongue, green mind, white milk
And August the most peaceful month.
To be, in the grass, in the peacefullest time,
Without that monument of cat,
The cat forgotten in the moon;
And to feel that the light is a rabbit-light,
In which everything is meant for you
And nothing need be explained;
Then there is nothing to think of. It comes of itself;
And east rushes west and west rushes down,
No matter. The grass is full
And full of yourself. The trees around are for you,
The whole of the wideness of night is for you,
A self that touches all edges,
You become a self that fills the four corners of night.
The red cat hides away in the fur-light
And there you are humped high, humped up,
You are humped higher and higher, black as stone—
You sit with your head like a carving in space
And the little green cat is a bug in the grass.
A RABBIT AS THE KING OF THE GHOSTS
perhaps the oddest of the great american poets of the 20th century, he worked a vein of american romantic transcendentalism that was truly his own claim. it took a while for me to fully inhabit stevens' world but when i did, i couldn't see anyone else(w/the exception, maybe, of hart crane) near to creating the interior space of a world that allowed full exploration of the questions that matter most to us as a dying species. oddly enough, i've been reading him again while ann is away & i am still in total awe of his creativity & generosity.