Red Loves Kitt December 12, 2010Posted by Mark Folse in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, NOLA, Poetry, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Wallace Stevens
Sunday morning nothing to say blues. This has been rattling around in my Drafts box for a while since I discovered the uncollected poems of Wallace Stevens scattered around the Intertubes. This one was likely kept unpublished so as not to advertise to the world his long and faithful but unhappy marriage. I find Stevens endlessly fascinating because he took great pleasure in his job as insurance executive even as he wrote some of the post powerful poetry of the 20th Century. I have read his collected poems over and over and some of his critical work but never a biography. I have a dozen books scattered around the place in various stages of being read (or ignored) so the last thing I need is another book, but that one needs to get moved up on the bucket list.
It is Connecticut cold outside and blowing like Fargo in March, so it seems like a good morning to huddle around the cracking CRT and warm oneself with words on fire. Did I mention there are crows involved? Of course there are crows involved.
From Uncollected Poems Of Wallace Stevens
RED LOVES KIT
Your yes her no, your no her yes. The words
Make little difference, for being wrong
And wronging her, if only as she thinks,
You never can be right. You are the man.
You brought the incredible calm of ecstasy,
Which, like a virgin visionary spent
In this spent world, she must possess. The gift
Came not from you. Shall the world be spent again,
Wasted in what would be an ultimate waste,
A deprivation muffled in eclipse,
The final theft? That you are innocent
And love her still, still leaves you in the wrong.
Where is that calm and where that ecstasy?
Her words accuse you of adulteries
That sack the sun, though metaphysical.
A beautiful thing, milord, is beautiful
Not only in itself but in the things
Around it. Thus it has a large expanse,
As the moon has in its moonlight, worlds away,
As the sea has in its coastal clamorings.
So she, when in her mystic aureole
She walks, triumphing humbly, should express
Her beauty in your love. She should reflect
Her glory in your passion and be proud.
Her music should repeat itself in you,
Impelled by a compulsive harmony.
Milord, I ask you, though you will to sing,
Does she will to be proud? True, you may love
And she have beauty of a kind, but such
Unhappy love reveals vast blemishes.
Rest, crows, upon the edges of the moon,
Cover the golden altar deepest black,
Fly upward thick in numbers, fly across
The blueness of the half-night, fill the air
And darken it, make an unbroken mat
Out of the whirl and denseness of your wings,
Spread over heaven shutting out the light.
Then turn your heads and let your spiral eyes
And move the night by their intelligent motes.
Make a sidereal splendor as you fly.
And you, good galliard, to enchant black thoughts
Beseech them for an overwhelming gloom.
It will be fecund in rapt curios.