Friday, May 13, 2011

Would rationalists wear sombreros?

This final section of "Six Significant Landscapes," by attorney and insurance executive (and poet) Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), playfully explores the limitations of rigid thinking. 


           Rationalists, wearing square hats,
           Think, in square rooms,
           Looking at the floor,
           Looking at the ceiling.
           They confine themselves
           To right-angled triangles.
           If they tried rhomboids,
           cones, waving lines, ellipses—
           As, for example, the ellipse of the half-moon—
           Rationalists would wear sombreros.

 "Six Significant Landscapes" is found in Wallace Stevens:  The Collected Poems (Vintage Books, 1990).  Previous postings of work by Wallace Stevens happened on May 4 and in 2010 on December 15.

No comments:

Post a Comment