Thursday, December 1

Poem:"The Well Dressed Man with a Beard," by Wallace Stevens from Collected Poems.
The Well Dressed Man with a Beard

After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
No was the night. Yes is this present sun.
If the rejected things, the things denied,
Slid over the western cataract, yet one,
One only, one thing that was firm, even
No greater than a cricket's horn, no more
Than a thought to be rehearsed all day, a speech
Of the self that must sustain itself on speech,
One thing remaining, infallible, would be
Enough. Ah! douce campagna of that thing!
Ah! douce campagna, honey in the heart,
Green in the body, out of a petty phrase,
Out of a thing believed, a thing affirmed:
The form on the pillow humming while one sleeps,
he aureole above the humming house . . .

It can never be satisfied, the mind, never.

I love this poem and I don't know why. Try reading it out loud. There is something so focused about it. If you have any thought I would like to hear them. Some of the words I will have to look up later...



Wong Online PoKer Hu said...

This is my first time to come across such a poem and I like it very much. I don't know why exactly.

Chara said...

I looked this poem up on the internet- Very interesting papers have been written about it, which are mostly over my head (today, anyway).
One of them explained the poem as an introduction to a hypothetical person and then the text of the poem is a sort of metaphor. Check out that paper here:
and let me know what you think.

Chara said...

Metaphors in this poem:
"No was the night. Yes is this present sun."- establishes them as opposites (in eastern thought, balance)
"a speech/Of the self that must sustain itself on speech,"- reminds me of a Shel Silverstein poem...
"honey in the heart,/Green in the body..."- sweetness, youth

Help John!