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The Collected Public Domain Poems of Wallace Stevens, Volume 1

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Anecdote of Canna



Huge are the canna in the dreams of

X, the mighty thought, the mighty man.

They fill the terrace of his capitol.

His thought sleeps not. Yet thought that wakes

In sleep may never meet another thought

Or thing . . . Now day-break comes . . .

X promenades the dewy stones,

Observes the canna with a clinging eye.

Observes and then continues to observe.





Anecdote of Men by the Thousand



The soul, he said, is composed

Of the external world.

There are men of the East, he said,

Who are the East.

There are men of a province

Who are that province.

There are men of a valley

Who are that valley.

There are men whose words

Are as natural sounds

Of their places

As the cackle of toucans

In the place of toucans.

The mandoline is the instrument

Of a place.

Are there mandolines of Western mountains?

Are there mandolines of Northern moonlight?

The dress of a woman of Lhassa,

In its place,

Is an invisible element of that place

Made visible.




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