Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Wallace Stevens' poem from beyond the grave

This, the third poem in the current series, follows the guidelines laid down in the initial Thomas Hardy's poem from beyond the grave post which is to be found 2 posts below this one.

Wallace Stevens' poem from beyond the grave

But salvation here? What about the rattle of sticks
Rising upon the doctors in their beds
And of him that sees, beyond the astronomers
In a moving contour, a change not quite completed?

Look round, brown moon, brown bird, as you rise to fly
Without understanding, out of the wall
Or a lustered nothingness, Effendi, he
Bears us toward time, on its

Tinsel in February, tinsel in August
The months of understanding. The pediment
Begins again and ends again -
The gardener's cat is dead, the gardener gone.

gw,ws 2010


  1. You've really got the bit between your teeth!

    Do you think it works equally well for every poet or are some more successful than others?

    I really felt with Thomas that it showed up his mastery of language.
    Glad you are enjoying doing the exercise.

  2. Pat, I think it works with poets you are fond of because you have an affinity there and you enjoy doing it. But, I've only done 3, so it's too early to say anyhting for definite. Hardy, Thomas, and Stevens, I like. Hughes & Plath in a co-production will be interesting. But that's for another day. Meanwhile George Szirtes has given me permission to abuse him, or rather to abuse his 'New & Collected'. That's good, too!


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