Sunday, April 29, 2007

So-And-So Reclining on Her Couch

Wallace Stevens (1947)

On her side, reclining on her elbow.
This mechanism, this apparition,
Suppose we call it Projection A.

She floats in air at the level of
The eye, completely anonymous,
Born, as she was, at twenty-one,

Without lineage or language, only
The curving of her hip, as motionless gesture,
Eyes dripping blue, so much to learn.

If just abover her head there hung,
Suspended in air, the slightest crown
Of Gothic prong and practick bright,

The suspension, as in solid space,
The suspending hand withdrawn, would be
An invisible gesture. Let this be called

Projection B. To get at the thing
Without gestures is to get at it as
Idea. She floats in the contention, the flux

Between the thing as idea and
The idea as thing. She is half who made her.
This is the final Projection C.

The arrangement contains the desire of
The artist. But one confides in what has no
Concealed creator. One walks easily

The unpainted shore, accepts the world
As anything but sculpture. Good-bye
Mrs. Pappadopoulos, and thanks.


Amy Wiltbank said...

This one makes me think of the way Nick talks about Jordan in The Great Gatsby. I like it.

Anonymous said...

Plato's Forms are here at ease with Modigliani's elongated women reclining and yet there is still an echo in Steven's that is uneasy with the world that is not in flux and the world that takes a step back from the painting to realize itself a representation. The viewer as Projection D.

pablo o.

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