Sunday, November 29, 2009

Description is Revelation


Description is revelation. It is not
The thing described, nor false facsimile.

It is an artificial thing that exists,
In its own seeming, plainly visible,

Yet not too closely the double of our lives,
Intenser than any actual life could be,

A text we should be born that we might read,
More explicit than the experience of sun

And moon, the book of reconciliation,
Book of a concept only possible

In description, canon central in itself,
The thesis of the plentifullest John.

Wallace Stevens, Collected Poetry and Prose, from "Description Without Place"

5 comments:

Kim said...

This is great! Love the third stanza- our imagination/yearning would make it seem more intense than “actual life.” It reminds me that I am a sucker for the cool yellow and black colors and the snappy label. I don’t think I’ve read Stevens since high school. After reading your post, I went online to check him out. I loved A High Toned Old Christian Woman. Thanks for the reintroduction!

Debs said...

I finally got to chapter 7 of your Questioning book. It's been blowing my pea-sized mind. I keep trying to describe the book (and your prose in general) to friends, and - upon failing to name the box it could be contained in - finally settling on a very flustered "you're going to have to read it!" I'm still trying to find ways to verbally re-process your double-edged interpretations, but they are taking effect in other ways: I have already written 2 songs which bear some resemblance to overarching themes of your book. Still, I can't help feeling like an over-stuffed squirrel with no habitat to hibernate in.

Much Love to you and your family!

Debs said...

by the by, did you see the recent evisceration of Radiohead in SPIN magazine? I think you might find it a bit amusing, even if you, like me, love the band.

"OK Computer 2: the Legend of Curly's Gold" ...I spat peppermint tea at that one.

david said...
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krypto said...

Interesting photo to go with the poem. Love it!