11.19.2011

The Plain Sense of Things

 





















The Plain Sense of Things



 



By Wallace Stevens


 

 After the leaves have fallen, we return


To a plain sense of things. It is as if


We had come to an end of the imagination,


Inanimate in an inert savoir.


 


It is difficult even to choose the adjective


For this blank cold, this sadness without cause.


The great structure has become a minor house.


No turban walks across the lessened floors.


 


The greenhouse never so badly needed paint.


The chimney is fifty years old and slants to one side.


A fantastic effort has failed, a repetition


In a repetitiousness of men and flies.


 


Yet the absence of the imagination had


Itself to be imagined. The great pond,


The plain sense of it, without reflections, leaves,


Mud, water like dirty glass, expressing silence


 


Of a sort, silence of a rat come out to see,


The great pond and its waste of the lilies, all this


Had to be imagined as an inevitable knowledge,


Required, as a necessity requires.


 

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