Sunday, February 14, 2010

It Must Change (VI)

[from Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction, by Wallace Stevens:]


Bethou me, said sparrow, to the crackled blade,
And you, and you, bethou me as you blow,
When in my coppice you behold me be.

Ah, ké! The bloody wren, the felon jay,
Ké-ké, the jug-throated robin pouring out,
Bethou, bethou, bethou me in my glade.

There was such idiot minstrelsy in rain,
So many clappers going without bells,
That these bethous compose a heavenly gong.

One voice repeating, one tireless chorister,
The phrases of a single phrase, ké-ké,
A single text, granite monotony,

One sole face, like a photograph of fate,
Glass-blower’s destiny, bloodless episcopus,
Eye without lid, mind without any dream–

These are of minstrels lacking minstrelsy,
Of an earth in which the first leaf is the tale
Of leaves, in which the sparrow is a bird

Of stone that never changes. Bethou him, you
And you, bethou him and bethou. It is
A sound like any other. It will end.


[All rights reserved by the author's estate - Please do not copy]

No comments:

Post a Comment