Wednesday, July 20, 2016


The Woman In Sunshine

It is only that this warmth and movement are like
The warmth and movement of a woman.

It is not that there is any image in the air
Nor the beginning nor end of a form:

It is empty. But a woman in threadless gold
Burns us with brushings of her dress

And a dissociated abundance of being,
More definite for what she is —

Because she is disembodied,
Bearing the odors of the summer fields,

Confessing the taciturn and yet indifferent,
Invisibly clear, the only love.

W A L L A C E     S T E V E N S


"One of the great poets of our century,
someone whom the world will keep
on reading just as it keeps on listening
to Vivaldi or Scarlatti, looking at
Tiepolo or Poussin. His best poems
are the poems of a man fully
human — of someone sympathetic,
magnanimous, both brightly and deeply
intelligent; the poems see, feel, and
think with equal success. . .Minds
of this quality of genius, of this
breadth and delicacy of understanding,
are a link between us and the past,
since they are, for us, the past made
living; and they are our surest link with
the future, since they are the part of us
which the future will know. . .When
you have finished reading Stevens'
best poems you remember once more
that man is not only the jest and riddle
of the world, but the glory.

RANDALL JARRELL, Partisan Review

photograph: patti smith reading wallace stevens