Monday, January 25, 2010

Chaos in Motion and Not in Motion /
Wallace Stevens

Chaos in Motion and Not in Motion

Oh, that this lashing wind was something more
Than the spirit of Ludwig Richter . . .

The rain is pouring down. It is July.
There is lightning and the thickest thunder.

It is a spectacle. Scene 10 becomes 11,
in Series X, Act IV, et cetera.

People fall out of windows, trees tumble down,
Summer is changed to winter, the young grow old,

The air is full of children, statues, roofs
And snow. The theater is spinning round,

Colliding with deaf-mute churches and optical trains.
The most massive sopranos are signing songs of scales.

And Ludwig Richter, turbulent Schlemiel,
Has lost the whole in which he was contained,

Knows desire without an object of desire,
All mind and violence and nothing felt.

He knows he has nothing more to think about.
Like the wind that lashes everything at once.

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)1945
from Transport to Summer, 1947

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

L2 - Ludwig Richter:

Wallace Stevens biography

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