Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And now for a little 20th century classic American poetry . . . because poetry and baked goods just go so well together . . .

The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm

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 most 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.

--Wallace Stevens, 1945

**Stevens was an insurance executive by day, and a brilliantly original American poet by night. So you see, anything is possible. Even creating enduring poetry in the midst of what appears to be a garden variety, middle-aged guy's daily existence.

1 comment:

Andy said...

Hey, I can think of a Wallace Stevens poem that evokes, in its way, the kitchen:

The Emperor of Ice Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal.
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.