Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Fading of the Sun / Wallace Stevens

A Fading of the Sun

Who can think of the sun costuming clouds
When all people are shaken
Or of night endazzled, proud,
When people awaken
And cry and cry for help?

The warm antiquity of self,
Everyone, grows suddenly cold.
The tea is bad, bread sad.
How can the world so old be so mad
That the people die?

If joy shall be without a book
It lies, themselves within themselves,
If they will look
Within themselves
And cry and cry for help?

Within as pillars of the sun,
Supports of night. The tea,
The wine is good. The bread,
The meat is sweet.
And they will not die.

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), 1933
from Ideas of Order, 1935

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

Wallace Stevens biography

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