3 thoughts on Wallace Stevens and a poem

{ Tuesday, December 11, 2007 }

1) Reading poems out loud will teach you something interesting. It's so cool - you have to try it!

2) "The Man With The Blue Guitar" is a wonderful poem to memorize and recite to one's cat.

3) Wallace Stevens is the poet to read when the world feels noisy and you feel jangled and as though everything you say hits a wrong note. When you need to feel for once as though you have laid things down in straight lines, evenly. Or when the change of seasons has laid you melancholy. W.S. is a good poet to read then.

No Possum, No Sop, No Taters, by Wallace Stevens

He is not here, the old sun,
As absent as if we were asleep.

The field is frozen. The leaves are dry.
Bad is final in this light.

In this bleak air the broken stalks
Have arms without hands. They have trunks

Without legs or, for that, without heads,
They have heads in which a captive cry

Is merely the moving of a tongue.
Snow sparkles like eyesight falling to earth,

Like seeing fallen brightly away.
The leaves hop, scraping on the ground.

It is deep January. The sky is hard,
The stalks are firmly rooted in ice.

It is in this solitude, a syllable,
Out of these gawky flitterings,

Intones its single emptiness,
The savagest hollow of winter-sound.

It is here, in this bad, that we reach
The last purity of the knowledge of good.

The crow looks rusty as he rises up.
Bright is the malice in his eye. . .

One joins him there for company,
But at a distance, in another tree.

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