Stevens - So-And-So Reclining on Her Couch
I’m back now from a delay I should have expected, but didn’t, and now I’m wireless to boot. So, in that spirit, I’m posting one of my favorite poems from Stevens. I hope it fares better than did poor old Lowell. And, at no extra charge, himself reading it, though I’ve never really cared all that much for his reading voice.
So-And-So Reclining on Her Couch
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 above 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The suspension, as in solid space, The suspending hand withdrawn, would be An invisible gesture.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.