Today is the anniversary of the death of the American poet Wallace Stevens. His work, especially his earlier work, displays a remarkable command of descriptive language. Stevens is never ordinary in his descriptions, perhaps due to his belief that the Self is, in some real sense, a creator of reality—that is, the human observer, as a perceiver, defines the world for him or her self. Well, enough of that. Here is one of my favorite Stevens poems.
Two wooden tubs of blue hydrangeas stand at the foot of the stone steps.
The sky is a blue gum streaked with rose. The trees are black.
The grackles crack their throats of bone in the smooth air.
Moisture and heat have swollen the garden into a slum of bloom.
Pardie! Summer is like a fat beast, sleepy in mildew,
Our old bane, green and bloated, serene, who cries,
“That bliss of stars, that princox of evening heaven!” reminding me of the seasons,
When radiance came running down, slim through the bareness.
And so it is one damns that green shade at the bottom of the land.
For who can care at the wigs despoiling the Satan ear?
And who does not seek the sky unfuzzed, soaring to the princox?
One has a malady, here, a malady. One feels a malady.