Sunday, December 16, 2012
A Woman Sings a Song for a Soldier Come Home (a poem by Wallace Stevens)
The wound kills that does not bleed.
It has no nurse to kin to know
Nor kin to care.
And the man dies that does not fall.
He walks and dies. Nothing survives
Except what was,
Under the white clouds piled and piled
Like gathered up forgetfulness,
In sleeping air.
The clouds are over the village, the town,
To which the walker speaks
And tells of his wound,
Without a word to the people, unless
One person should come by chance,
This man or that,
So much a part of the place, so little
A person he knows, with whom he might
Talk of the weather-
And let it go, with nothing lost,
Just out of the village, at its edge,
In the quient there.
Wallace Stevens was a poet born in Reading, PA in 1879 and who died in Hartford, CT in 1955. This poem is taken from the book, The Palm at the End of the Mind: Selected Poems and a Play by Wallace Stevens (Vintage Books, 1972). Robert Coles turned me on to Wallace Stevens. This poem, which I found yesterday in a Western Mass. bookstore, was published in 1946.