Monday, December 19, 2011

The House was Quiet

Up at 5am this morning, dead awake.  Which doesn't make me unhappy.  Ideas for my writing rattling around in my head.  And the quiet.  How I love the quiet at 5am.

"A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live."  

~ Bertrand Russell

"If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment."

~ Thoreau

It was a decent weekend. Good breakfasts, a reasonable amount of slothing about.  And for me, also, going to work.  A few things held, offered.  Some decent light.  Some sweets.

A poem for you this morning by Wallace Stevens.  And a quotation:
"We are physical beings in a physical world; the weather is one of the things that we enjoy, one of the unphilosophical realities. The state of the weather soon becomes a state of mind."

His poem is about summer, but I can't help replacing the word with winter when I read it. For me, a winter morning is the perfection of thought...

The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm
by Wallace Stevens

The house was quiet and the world was calm.
        The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
        The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
        Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
        The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
        The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
        The access of perfection to the page.

The world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
        In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
        Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

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