Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Day 917: Yes After No


On faith, hope, lost and newfound causes, a brilliantly illuminating poem from Wallace Stevens. I love the idea in this poem of new ideas all the time being born, as one commentator puts it: 'this hope of renewal comes from the eternal restlessness of the mind, which cannot by its nature accept that there are any final nos.' No it cannot. And a big yes to that!

The Well-Dressed Man With a Beard - Wallace Stevens

After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
No was the night. Yes is this present sun.
If the rejected things, the things denied,
Slid over the western cataract, yet one,
One only, one thing that was firm, even
No greater than a cricket's horn, no more
Than a thought to be rehearsed all day, a speech
Of the self that must sustain itself on speech,
One thing remaining, infallible, would be
Enough. Ah! douce campagna of that thing!
Ah! douce campagna, honey in the heart,
Green in the body, out of a petty phrase,
Out of a thing believed, a thing affirmed:
The form on the pillow humming while one sleeps,
The aureole above the humming house...

It can never be satisfied, the mind, never. 

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