A Movie Log

A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Plain Sense of Things

The Plain Sense of Things: In the Sunday New York Times Book Review, Helen Vendler reviews the first edition of Wallace Stevens’s work in 20 years, edited by John N. Serio. Stevens has always been one of my favorite poets, and Vendler's review inspired me to re-read a poem from which I have always managed to derive a strange sustenance:

Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour

Light the first light of evening, as in a room
In which we rest and, for small reason, think
The world imagined is the ultimate good.

This is, therefore, the intensest rendezvous.
It is in that thought that we collect ourselves,
Out of all the indifferences, into one thing:

Within a single thing, a single shawl
Wrapped tightly around us, since we are poor, a warmth,
A light, a power, the miraculous influence.

Here, now, we forget each other and ourselves.
We feel the obscurity of an order, a whole,
A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous,

Within its vital boundary, in the mind.
We say God and the imagination are one ...
How high that highest candle lights the dark.

Out of this same light, out of the central mind,
We make a dwelling in the evening air,
In which being there together is enough.

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