Thursday, January 28, 2010

As at a Theatre / Wallace Stevens

As at a Theatre

Another sunlight might make another world,
Green, more or less, in green and blue in blue,
Like taste distasting the first fruit of a vine,
Like an eye too young to grapple its primitive,
Like the artifice of a new reality,
Like the chromatic calendar of time to come.

It might be the candle of another being,
Ragged in unkempt perceptions, that stands
And meditates an image of itself,
Studies and shapes a tallowy image, swarmed
With slight, prismatic reeks not recollected,
A bubble without a wall on which to hang.

The curtains, when pulled, might show another whole,
An azure outre-terre, oranged and rosed,
At the elbow of Copernicus, a sphere,
A universe without life's limp and lack,
Philosopher's end . . . What difference would it make,
So long as the mind, for once, fulfilled itself?

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)1950
From Collected Poems, 1954

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

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