Monday, January 01, 2007
Excerpts, "The Latest Freed Man," by Wallace Stevens:
Tired of the old descriptions of the world,
The latest freed man rose at six and sat
On the edge of his bed. He said, "I suppose there is
A doctrine to this landscape. Yet, having just
Escaped from the truth, the morning is color and mist,
Which is enough...."
It was how the sun came shining into his room:
To be without a description of to be,
For a moment on rising, at the edge of the bed, to be,
To have the ant of the self changed to an ox
With its organic boomings, to be changed
From a doctor into an ox, before standing up,
To know that the change and that the ox-like struggle
Come from the strength that is the strength of the sun,
Whether it comes directly or from the sun.
It was how he was free. It was how his freedom came.
It was being without description, being an ox.
It was the importance of the trees outdoors,
The freshness of the oak-leaves, not so much
That they were oak-leaves, as the way they looked.
It was everything being more real, himself
At the centre of reality, seeing it.
It was everything bulging and blazing and big in itself,
The blue of the rug, the portrait of Vidal,...the chairs.
Joyce Umamoto informs me that this is the Year of the Pig in the Chinese zodiac -- the last year in the latest 12-year cycle, so perhaps, on the brink of a new cycle, we can wobble the wheel into some path better than the one we had to follow in the last cycle.