Friday, March 31, 2017

Poetry Friday: "A bird’s cry, at daylight or before, In the early March wind...."

When I muse aloud, "What should I post for Poetry Friday?" I can usually count on Atticus to suggest some Wallace Stevens. I've actually posted a fair amount about Stevens, as I find him pretty fascinating, so when Atticus said, "How about 'Not Ideas About the Thing but the Thing Itself'?" I said, "You're a genius."

Without further ado, here is the genius of my husband, Wallace Stevens, and spring:


Not Ideas About the Thing but the Thing Itself 
by Wallace Stevens

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.

(Read the whole thing here, at The Poetry Foundation.)

~~~~~

The wonderful Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has the round up today at The Poem Farm.

11 comments:

Mike Aquilina said...

WS was an unlikeable guy, but I loved Paul Mariani's biography of him.

https://www.amazon.com/Whole-Harmonium-Life-Wallace-Stevens/dp/1451624387/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490965038&sr=8-1&keywords=mariani+stevens

Whispers from the Ridge said...

This is a great share, Karen. To focus on the "thing" rather than the ideas can be hard sometimes, but the work is profoundly necessary.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

Thank you for this one! I love the title and am going to think about it some more. Happy Happy Poetry Friday! xx

BJ Lee said...

I haven't heard this one before, Karen! Thank you for posting it. It definitely bear some thinking about.

Bridget Magee said...

This poem by Stevens is new to me, too, but I'm glad your husband suggested it, Karen, and you posted it! =)

Tabatha said...

Atticus is a wise man! Stevens' poem reminds me of Magritte's "The Treachery of Images" ("This is not a pipe").

Alice Nine said...

Thank you for sharing this poem, Karen. I was struck by its title and immediately applied to the here and now for me. I'm doing some PD tomorrow and the teachers explicitly said they don't want to talk about the research or rationale or even the content. They want me to show them what the instruction looks like, feels like, in the classroom. They want how to think about the instruction to plan their routines and lessons. They don't want the "Ideas About the Thing but the Thing Itself."

Karen Edmisten said...

So happy to hear this is either new or timely for you all!

Mike, that's on my tbr list. Looking forward to it.

Kay said...

Such wise advice...and so hard to do sometimes!

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Very thoughtful, as Stevens' poems are, Karen - thanks for sharing. He always paid close attention to what poetry was and how it affected readers, and this provides a lot to consider! Thanks for reminding me about him; I recall reading once that he had to take a break from writing for several years while helping raise his daughter, which is good for someone like me (who has less and less time to write) to keep in mind!

Mary Lee said...

That chorister might have been me...heh...