Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Mozart, 1935" by Wallace Stevens

From Ideas of Order (1936)

Poet, be seated at the piano.
Play the present, its hoo-hoo-hoo,
Its shoo-shoo-shoo, its ric-a-nic,
Its envious cachinnation.

If they throw stones upon the roof
While you practice arpeggios,
It is because they carry down the stairs
A body in rags.
Be seated at the piano.

That lucid souvenir of the past,
The divertimento;
That airy dream of the future,
The unclouded concerto . . .
The snow is falling.
Strike the piercing chord.

Be thou the voice,
Not you. Be thou, be thou
The voice of angry fear,
The voice of this besieging pain.

Be thou that wintry sound
As of a great wind howling,
By which sorrow is released,
Dismissed, absolved
In a starry placating.

We may return to Mozart.
He was young, and we, we are old.
The snow is falling
And the streets are full of cries.
Be seated, thou.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Some Words on Wallace Stevens at Big Other

I had the pleasure of writing about Wallace Stevens when Greg Gerke asked for "something, anything" about his poetry (or prose). You can read that, and many other reflections and musings about Stevens by going to the Big Other literary website. Scroll down to find the page.