Thursday, October 8, 2009

National Poetry Day in Britain -- My Contribution

Yes, today, according to Jams. I thought I would share this one which someone brought to my book club recently and with which we could all identify . Oh there is a theme, but I am ignoring it as is my wont and my poem is by an American to boot. Heroes and heroines in case you want to celebrate in the proper style.

The House was Quiet and the World was Calm
Wallace Stevens

The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.

And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.


Anonymous said...

Wallace Stevens is one of my favorite poets, for what that's worth. Thank you for the one you offered.

jams o donnell said...

I love it jmb. I had not read any of his work before

Berni said...

I am sure it is very good but I guess I am a Philistine in regard to poetry. I have never got beyond Longfellow's Hiawatha. At least it rhymed.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

I think it is wonderful the way poetry and song (I guess that's mostly poetry set to music)can simply capture a mood, or a feeling, in a few words, that is difficult to explain even with many word normally.

jmb said...

Ian you are certainly one up on me as I had never even heard of him but I did enjoy the poem.

Nor me Jams but this one did speak to me.

Well Berni I am a semiphilistine about poetry but every now and again.

Moggs it is rather like a condensed verbal version of images or feelings, almost like a kind of shorthand.
Thanks everyone for visiting and commenting.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I love that. I've not come across Wallace Stevens before either.