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.