Foxes on the Hill

A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.

A Postcard from the Volcano
Wallace Stevens
Children picking up our bones
Will never know that these were once
As quick as foxes on the hill;

And that in autumn, when the grapes
Made sharp air sharper by their smell
These had a being; breathing frost;

And least will guess that with our bones
We left much more, left what still is
The look of things, left what we felt

At what we saw. The spring clouds blow
Above the shuttered mansion-house,
Beyond our gate and the windy sky

Cries out a literate despair.
We knew for long the mansion's look
And what we said of it became

A part of what it is ... Children,
Still weaving budded aureoles,
Will speak our speech and never know,

Will say of the mansion that it seems
As if he that lived there left behind
A spirit storming in blank walls,

A dirty house in a gutted world,
A tatter of shadows peaked to white,
Smeared with the gold of the opulent sun.

The Curtains in the House of the Metaphysician

The Problem of Life is old. I have endeavored to approach it afresh, with a new method, in a new spirit, from a new point of view.

The Curtains in the House of the Metaphysician
Wallace Stevens

It comes about that the drifting of these curtains
Is full of long motions, as the ponderous 
Deflations of distance; or as clouds 
Inseparable from their afternoons; 
Or the changing of light, the dropping 
Of the silence, wide sleep and solitude 
Of night, in which all motion 
Is beyond us, as the firmament, 
Up-rising and down-falling, bares 
The last largeness, bold to see.


Poetry Collection

  1. Earthy Anecdote
  2. Invective Against Swans
  3. In the Carolinas
  4. The Paltry Nude Starts on a Spring Voyage
  5. The Plot Against the Giant
  6. Infanta Marina
  7. Domination of Black
  8. The Snow Man
  9. The Ordinary Women
  10. The Load of Sugar-Cane
  11. Le Monocle de Mon Oncle
  12. Nuances of a Theme by Williams
  13. Metaphors of a Magnifico
  14. Ploughing on Sunday
  15. Cy Est Pourtraicte, Madame Ste Ursule, et Les Unze Mille Vierges
  16. Hibiscus on the Sleeping Shores
  17. Fabliau of Florida
  18. The Doctor of Geneva
  19. Another Weeping Woman
  20. Homunculus et La Belle Etoile
  21. The Comedian as the Letter C
  22. From the Misery of Don Joost
  23. O Florida, Venereal Soil
  24. Last Look at the Lilacs
  25. The Worms at Heaven's Gate
  26. The Jack-Rabbit
  27. Anecdote of Men by the Thousand
  28. The Silver Plough Boy
  29. The Apostrophe to Vincentine
  30. Floral Decorations for Bananas
  1. Anecdote of Canna
  2. Of the Manner of Addressing Clouds
  3. Of Heaven Considered as a Tomb
  4. Of the Surface of Things
  5. Anecdote of the Prince of Peacocks
  6. A High-Toned Old Christian Woman
  7. The Place of the Solitaires
  8. The Weeping Burgher
  9. The Curtains in the House of the Metaphysician
  10. Banal Sojourn
  11. Depression Before Spring
  12. The Emperor of Ice-Cream
  13. The Cuban Doctor
  14. Tea at the Palaz of Hoon
  15. Exposition of the Contents of a Cab
  16. Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock
  17. Sunday Morning
  18. The Virgin Carrying a Lantern
  19. Stars at Tallapoosa
  20. Explanation
  21. Six Significant Landscapes
  22. Bantams in Pine-Woods
  23. Anecdote of the Jar
  24. Palace of the Babies
  25. Frogs Eat Butterflies. Snakes Eat Frogs. Hogs Eat Snakes. Men Eat Hogs.
  26. Jasmine's Beautiful Thoughts Underneath the Willow
  27. Cortège for Rosenbloom
  28. Tattoo
  1. The Bird with the Coppery, Keen Claws
  2. Life is Motion
  3. Architecture
  4. The Wind Shifts
  5. Colloquy with a Polish Aunt
  6. Gubbinal
  7. Two Figures in Dense Violet Night
  8. Theory
  9. To the One of Fictive Music
  10. Hymn from a Watermelon Pavilion
  11. Peter Quince at the Clavier
  12. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
  13. Nomad Exquisite
  14. Tea
  15. To the Roaring WindPoems Added to Harmonium (1931)
  16. The Man Whose Pharynx Was Bad
  17. The Death of a Soldier
  18. Negation
  19. The Surprises of the Superhuman
  20. Sea Surface Full of Clouds
  21. The Revolutionists Stop for Orangeade
  22. New England Verses
  23. Lunar Paraphrase
  24. Anatomy of Monotony
  25. The Public Square
  26. Sonatina to Hans Christian
  27. In the Clear Season of Grapes
  28. Two at Norfolk
  29. Indian River

The Common Life

I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself. I will be rich by myself, and not by borrowing.

The Common Life
Wallace Stevens

That’s the down-town frieze,
Principally the church steeple,
A black line beside a white line,
And the stack of the electric plant,
A black line drawn on flat air.

It is a morbid light
In which they stand,
Like an electric lamp
On a page of Euclid.

In this light a man is a result,
A demonstration, and a woman,
Without rose and without violet,
The shadows that are absent from Euclid,
Is not a woman for a man.

The paper is whiter
For these black lines.
It glares beneath the webs
Of wire, the designs of ink,
The planes that ought to have genius,
The volumes like marble ruins
Outlined and having alphabetical
Notations and footnotes.
The paper is whiter.
The men have no shadows
And the women have only one side.