Choral Rings: Stevens’ “Circled Sea”?

Stevens ends his Collected Poems with “Not Ideas About the Thing but the Thing Itself.”

At the earliest ending of winter,
In March, a scrawny cry from outside
Seemed like a sound in his mind.

He knew that he heard it,
A bird’s cry at daylight or before,
In the early March wind

The sun was rising at six,
No longer a battered panache above snow . . .
It would have been outside.

It was not from the vast ventriloquism
Of sleep’s faded papier mâché . . .
The sun was coming from outside.

That scrawny cry—it was
A chorister whose c preceded the choir.
It was part of the colossal sun,

Surrounded by its choral rings,
Still far away. It was like
A new knowledge of reality.

Look at this in relation to Williams’ “Flowers by the Sea” (previous post); how do they differ in “stance” or “poetics”?

(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *