Thursday, September 9, 2010

Poem of the Day: "Man Carrying Thing"

This poem resists the intelligence by a series of hand-offs -- from a commentary on poetry to the illustration, to the figure, to the thing, to the parts, to thoughts, and then to a "bright obvious" that is far from it. Maybe it is a dream standing motionless in the cold, resisting intelligence? Maybe not.

Wallace Stevens, "Man Carrying Thing"

The poem must resist the intelligence
Almost successfully. Illustration:
A brune figure in winter evening resists
Identity. The thing he carries resists
The most necessitous sense. Accept them, then,
As secondary (parts not quite perceived
Of the obvious whole, uncertain particles
Of the certain solid, the primary free from doubt,
Things floating like the first hundred flakes of snow
Out of a storm we must endure all night,
Out of a storm of secondary things),
A horror of thoughts that suddenly are real.
We must endure our thoughts all night, until
The bright obvious stands motionless in cold.

(via 3quarksdaily)

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