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date: 25 September 2021

Wallace Stevens 1879–1955
American poet 

  1. The imagination is man's power over nature.
    ‘Adagia’ (1959)
  2. Call the roller of big cigars,
    The muscular one, and bid him whip
    In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
    ‘The Emperor of Ice-Cream’ (1923)
  3. Let be be finale of seem.
    The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.
    ‘The Emperor of Ice-Cream’ (1923)
  4. The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
    ‘The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm’ (1945)
  5. They said, ‘You have a blue guitar,
    You do not play things as they are.’
    The man replied, ‘Things as they are
    Are changed upon the blue guitar.’
    ‘The Man with the Blue Guitar’ (1937)
  6. The palm at the end of the mind,
    Beyond the last thought, rises.
    ‘Of Mere Being’ (1957)
  7. A gold-feathered bird
    Sings in the palm.
    ‘Of Mere Being’ (1957)
  8. Music is feeling, then, not sound.
    ‘Peter Quince at the Clavier’ (1923) pt. 1
  9. Beauty is momentary in the mind—
    The fitful tracing of a portal;
    But in the flesh it is immortal.
    The body dies; the body's beauty lives.
    ‘Peter Quince at the Clavier’ (1923) pt. 4
  10. One must have a mind of winter
    To regard the frost and the boughs
    Of the pine trees crusted with snow;
    And have been cold a long time
    To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
    The spruces rough in the distant glitter
    Of the January sun; and not to think
    Of any misery in the sound of the wind.
    ‘The Snow Man’ (1921)
  11. For the listener, who listens in the snow,
    And, nothing himself, beholds
    Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
    ‘The Snow Man’ (1921)
  12. Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
    Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
    And the green freedom of a cockatoo
    Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
    The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.
    ‘Sunday Morning’ (1923) st. 1
  13. At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
    Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
    Downward to darkness, on extended wings.
    ‘Sunday Morning’ (1923) st. 8
  14. I do not know which to prefer,
    The beauty of inflections
    Or the beauty of innuendoes,
    The blackbird whistling
    Or just after.
    ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird’ (1923)