There was a muddy centre before we breathed.
There was a myth before the myth began,
Venerable and articulate and complete.
From this the poem springs: that we live in a place
That is not our own and, much more, not ourselves
And hard it is in spire of blazoned days.
We are the mimics.Clouds are pedagogues.
The air is not a mirror but bare board,
Coulisse bright-dark, tragic chiaroscuro
And comic color of the rose, in which
Abysmal instruments make sounds like pips
Of the sweeping meanings that we add to them.
from Wallace Stevens' "Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction"