A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts 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… Continue reading Wallace Stevens
Each false thing ends. The bouquet of summer Turns blue and on its empty table It is stale and the water is discolored. True autumn stands then in the doorway. — Wallace Stevens, from section XVI of “Examination of the Hero in a Time of War,” The Collected Poems (Vintage Books, 1990)
The Motive for Metaphor You like it under the trees in autumn, Because everything is half dead. The wind moves like a cripple among the leaves And repeats words without meaning. In the same way, you were happy in spring, With the half colors of quarter-things, The slightly brighter sky, the melting clouds, The single… Continue reading Wallace Stevens
Reality is a cliché from which we escape by metaphor. ― Wallace Stevens, The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and the Imagination. (Vintage February 12, 1965) Originally published 1951.
Look in the terrible mirror of the sky. See how the absent moon waits in a glade Of your dark self. — Wallace Stevens, from “Blanche McCarthy,” Opus Posthumous: Poems, Plays, and Prose (Alfred A. Knopf, 1957)
What syllable are you seeking, Vocalissimus, In the distances of sleep? Speak it. — Wallace Stevens, “To the Roaring Wind,” The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens (Vintage Books, 1990)
I do not know which to prefer, The beauty of inflections, Or the beauty of innuendoes, The blackbird whistling, Or just after. ―Wallace Stevens, from “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens (Vintage, 1990)