Sunday, January 17, 2010

Not Ideas About the Thing But the Thing Itself

This has got to be my mantra for my middle age. Put away the fancies/fantasies of my youth (Sandra; tons of welcoming used book stores and cafes in NYC -- all ideas circa 1986) and listen to the realities of the place and time that I'm actually in.


Not Ideas About the Thing But the Thing Itself
by Wallace Stevens


At the earliest ending of winter,
In March, a scrawny cry from outside
Seemed like a sound in his mind.

He knew that he heard it,
A bird's cry, at daylight or before,
In the early March wind.

The sun was rising at six,
No longer a battered panache above snow...
It would have been outside.

It was not from the vast ventriloquism
Of sleep's faded papier-mache...
The sun was coming from the outside.

That scrawny cry--It was
A chorister whose c preceded the choir.
It was part of the colossal sun,

Surrounded by its choral rings,
Still far away. It was like
A new knowledge of reality.

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