17 March 2008

Poetry Break: Ding-an-sich

Not Ideas about the Thing
but the Thing Itself

by Wallace Stevens

At the earliest ending of winter,
In March, a scrawny cry from outside
Seemed like a sound in his mind.

He knew that he heard it,
A bird's cry, at daylight or before,
In the early March wind.

The sun was rising at six,
No longer a battered panache above snow. . . .
It would have been outside.

It was not from the vast ventriloquism
Of sleep's faded papier-mâché. . . .
the sun was coming from outside.

That scrawny cry--it was
A chorister whose c preceded the choir.
It was part of the colossal sun,

Surrounded by its choral rings,
Still far away. It was like
A new knowledge of reality.

A Sort of Song

by William Carlos Williams

Let the snake wait under
his weed
and the writing
be of words, slow and quick, sharp
to strike, quiet to wait,
--through metaphor to reconcile
the people and the stones.
Compose. (No ideas
but in things) Invent!
Saxifrage is my flower that splits
the rocks.

No comments: