Tag Archives: Wallace Stevens

Turbans in Connecticut (and New York)

Sikh Parade P4273472_edited-1The great structure has become a minor house.
No turban walks across the lessened floors.

—Wallace Stevens (The Plain Sense of Things)

Turbans, along with sombreros, appear early on in the poems of Wallace Stevens. At least three poems in Harmonium sport turbans. Here’s The Load of Sugar-Cane:

The going of the glade-boat
Is like water flowing;

Like water flowing
Through the green saw-grass
Under the rainbows;

Under the rainbows
That are like birds,
Turning, bedizened,

While the wind still whistles
As kildeer do,

When they rise
At the red turban
Of the boatman. Continue reading

Spring and All

V1 Header P4212919_edited-1Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

—Chaucer, from The Canterbury Tales, The Prologue

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

–T. S. Eliot, from The Waste Land, Part I, The Burial of the Dead

Spring, Part I (Early April, New York City)

In the lobby at 745 Fifth Avenue, there was a fellow playing piano. Moon River, to be exact. What, I wondered, would an alien landing on earth think of that? Inside the building, for which I felt decidedly underdressed in jeans, an old mock turtleneck, and fleece jacket complete with cat hair, were at least three posh galleries. Despite my appearance, I was allowed to enter and roam the halls. Continue reading

Autumn Thoughts

leaves in whirlings . . . /Around and away, resembling the presence of thought
—Wallace Stevens

I look out on the lake at Innisfree Garden, the last day it will be open until spring. I wander along its edge and look at the leaves, falling and fallen, the rippling silver of light over water. I look at my friend, the great blue heron, focused not on that shimmering surface, but what’s beneath. Continue reading