Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Man Carrying Thing

   Wallace Stevens' Man Carrying Thing because there's no necessity for us to smash our heads on the poem (to find the deeper meaning in the poem). The poem explains itself to us. The reader becomes observer. And that is enough.

Naturally, coming from Stevens, the poem may be appreciated in different ways. We may reach for a metaphorical flashlight, consult a poetry detective, or just accept (as advised) that what we read may be of some poetical or philosophical interest like snowflakes falling . . .

Man Carrying Thing

The poem must resist the intelligence
Almost successfully. Illustration:

A brune figure in winter evening resists
Identity. The thing he carries resists

The most necessitous sense. Accept them, then,
As secondary (parts not quite perceived

Of the obvious whole, uncertain particles
Of the certain solid, the primary free from doubt,

Things floating like the first hundred flakes of snow
Out of a storm we must endure all night,

Out of a storm of secondary things),
A horror of thoughts that suddenly are real.

We must endure our thoughts all night, until
The bright obvious stands motionless in cold.

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