“The Motive for Metaphor” — Wallace Stevens

“The Motive for Metaphor”

by

Wallace Stevens

You like it under the trees in autumn,
Because everything is half dead.
The wind moves like a cripple among the leaves
And repeats words without meaning.

In the same way, you were happy in spring,
With the half colors of quarter-things,
The slightly brighter sky, the melting clouds,
The single bird, the obscure moon–

The obscure moon lighting an obscure world
Of things that would never be quite expressed,
Where you yourself were not quite yourself,
And did not want nor have to be,

Desiring the exhilarations of changes:
The motive for metaphor, shrinking from
The weight of primary noon,
The A B C of being,

The ruddy temper, the hammer
Of red and blue, the hard sound–
Steel against intimation–the sharp flash,
The vital, arrogant, fatal, dominant X.

 

5 thoughts on ““The Motive for Metaphor” — Wallace Stevens”

    1. Absolutely Wallace Stevens, and not W.H. Auden, as an earlier version of this post incorrectly titled it.

      I have no idea what happened, other than my posting it near 10pm after a few too many glasses of red wine.

      Like

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