My Introduction To Wallace Stevens   4 comments

Tom Turner (08/29/09) — Image by kenne

With so much of my knowledge of literature I was taught by my brother, Tom. In an April 26, 2003 note from him, he wrote:

“Hey . . . you
Metaphysical degenerates . . . 
Bantered alone by impulse . . . 
Here I am attempting to essay a few
coherent thoughts . . . God it’s risky!
‘God and the imagination are one.’

I am in the midst of trying to 
memorize a poem . . . ‘Final Soliloquy 
of The Interior Paramour’
by

Wallace Stevens . . . never mind why.”

Tom goes on to write about a piece by George Steiner
on memorization amid the technological revolution
where media is ubiquitous:

“The danger is that the text or music will lose
what physics calls its ‘critical mass,’ its implosive
powers within the echo chambers of the self.”

He continued — “I can really be in awe of
Shakespearean stage people in recitation
of exact lines!! Read closely . . .”

Our wills and fates do so contrary run
that our devices still are overthrown:
our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.
(The Player King’s Crucial Speech in the Play
Within the Play — Act 3, Scene 2, 183-209-Hamlet)

I probably don’t need to tell you that Tom
never memorized the Wallace poem.

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 round 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.

— Wallace Stevens

4 responses to “My Introduction To Wallace Stevens

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. My favorite poem of all tiMe is domination of black.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    hellopuff@gmail.com
  2. This is a great post!! I love Wallace Stevens, of course, and your musings about your brother are worth musing over a little bit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think of Tom every day and have his letters and copies of emails on my desk. He tried to keep a daily journal of his thoughts, as he would say, “where his mind is.” Thanks for the comment — always much appreciated.

      Like

  3. Tom and Wallace, both men of spiritual insight.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: