Wallace Stevens, “The Poem That Took the Place of a Mountain”
This poem is being discussed HERE. Whether you are reading this as it is posted, or soon after–or much later—we urge you to click HERE and add your thoughts. The text of the poem is copied below. And here is something Al Filreis wrote in response to the discussion:
A thing can be itself, and it can be a thing that a poem is about. A poem can be about a thing but it can also be (by itself, of itself, in itself, without reference to things beyond it) a thing, in itself fully despite the fact that it is not a thing (the way a mountain is a thing). If we look at the comparison of things and poems in this way, we realize the poems are more powerful. Ironic given our usual preference for actual experience over thinking about experience. Go out there and climb that mountain. Don’t sit around imagining it! Do it! That’s what we say. The old man Stevens is saying: imagining it is doing it.