Monday, October 02, 2006

Happy 127th Birthday, Wallace Stevens!

If it is not immediately clear, I am dressed up as a horse eaten by wind. Notice the terrified horse face I am wearing! He is terrified because he is being eaten…eaten by the wind. Look at the many chomps that have been taken out of me! Notice also my windy clothes, and the pieces of wind devouring my shoulders, and the look of horsey indignation on my face. All in all, I think it's a pretty realistic depiction.

Parochial Theme

Long-tailed ponies go nosing the pine-lands,
Ponies of Parisians shooting on the hill.

The wind blows. In the wind, the voices
Have shapes that are not yet fully themselves,

Are sounds blown by a blower into shapes,
The blower squeezed to the thinnest mi of falsetto.

The hunters run to and fro. The heavy trees,
The grunting, shuffling branches, the robust,

The nocturnal, the antique, the blue-green pines
Deepen the feelings to inhuman depths.

These are the forest. This health is holy,
This halloo, halloo, halloo heard over the cries

Of those for whom a square room is a fire,
Of those whom the statues torture and keep down.

This health is holy, this descant of a self,
This barbarous chanting of what is strong, this blare.

But salvation here? What about the rattle of sticks
On tins and boxes? What about horses eaten by wind?

When spring comes and the skeletons of the hunters
Stretch themselves to rest in their first summer’s sun,

The spring will have a health of its own, with none
Of autumn’s halloo in its hair. So that closely, then,

Health follows after health. Salvation there:
There’s no such thing as life; or if there is,

It is faster than the weather, faster than
Any character. It is more than any scene:

Of the guillotine or of any glamorous hanging.
Piece the world together, boys, but not with your

Happy birthday, Vice President! We will party for you all month long.


Radish King said...

That wind scares the crap out of me, but your shoes are fabulous.

I'm still gluing stuff. I have the entire month right?

Tricia said...

You know, I've had those shoes for years and I never realized how windy they looked. Apparently I own a lot of windy clothes. How Stevie Nicks of me.

You do have the entire month--there's tons of time left!

johnny storm said...

What makes this for me, I think, is not so much the shoes, or the windywear, but rather (and you touched on this) that astonished, almost disbelieving horsey eye. As if he is saying to the beholder, "Verily, I have been eaten! By WIND!!" Probably bad form to look too closely at the teeth of these offerings, but I'll speculate that a wildly rolling horsey eye, with its up-tilted iris, might have worked even better. On the other hand, the complexity achieved via the combination of the softer, confused/betrayed Not-a-Finger face and the more immediate, terrified horsey face is, well... pretty durned effective. Cool!

Tricia said...

You're right, of course. Unfortunately, I was working freehand with a permanent marker. My God, the arrogance. Revision became impossible.