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Thursday, December 22, 2011

2 from Wallace Stevens (Couldn't Wait for Sunday)

I think that, apart from the awesomeness of the poetry, T.E. Hulme remains my favorite poet because I know a greater portion of his work than any other poet.  If you know a thing about Hulme, you will know what a lame claim it is to know all the poetical works of the guy.  That he died when he was only 34 doesn't help me.  That said, I know practically nothing about Wallace Stevens.  First, I only just "discovered" him a couple days ago.  Second, he lived a long full life.  Third, he wrote a lot of poetry.

He is also the newest of my favorite authors (a list to which I haven't added a name in years).

Here are two of his poems (the first must be read aloud; the second is my new personal anthem (I've never had a personal anthem before -- this is very exciting)):

Bantams in Pine-Woods
Chieftain Iffucan of Azcan in caftan
Of tan with henna hackles, halt!

Damned universal cock, as if the sun
Was blackamoor to bear your blazing tail.

Fat!  Fat!  Fat!  Fat!  I am the personal.
Your world is you.  I am my world.

You ten-foot poet among inchlings.  Fat!
Begone!  An inchling bristles in these pines,

Bristles, and points their Appalachian tangs,
And fears not portly Azcan nor his hoos.


The House Was Quiet
and the World Was Calm
The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.

And the world was calm.  The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

1 comment:

  1. i love and can relate to "the house was quiet and the world was calm." fantastic collection of words.


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