Lance Foster (hengruh) wrote,
Lance Foster
hengruh

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: the moment’s rain and sea,
The moment’s sun (the strong man vaguely seen),
Overtaking the doctrine of this landscape. Of him
And of his works, I am sure. He bathes in the mist
Like a man without a doctrine. The light he gives–
It is how he gives his light. It is how he shines,
Rising upon the doctors in their beds
And on their beds. . . .”

And so the freed man said.

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,
Qui fait fi des joliesses banales, the chairs.



Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)
Tags: poetry
Subscribe

  • Long post: The Tourist Test

    OK, I told you last time I was going to give you the results of my taking the Kamana “Tourist Test,” so here it is: THE TOURIST TEST “…If you don’t…

  • Archaeology's Lessons

    What are some of the things that all civilizations that crash have in common? Overuse of natural resources is a big one, whether because of…

  • The Little People and the Giants in Western Montana

    An extract from The Flathead Indians of Montana, by Harry Holbert Turney-High. Memoirs of the American Anthropological Association. Contributions…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments