I placed a jar in Tennessee, And round it was, upon a hill. It made the slovenly wilderness Surround that hill. The wilderness rose up to it, And sprawled around, no longer wild. The jar was round upon the ground And tall and of a port in air. It took dominion everywhere. The jar was gray and bare. It did not give of bird or bush, Like nothing else in Tennessee.
Wallace Stevens - 1879-1955
The Plain Sense of Things
After the leaves have fallen, we return To a plain sense of things. It is as if We had come to an end of the imagination, Inanimate in an inert savoir. It is difficult even to choose the adjective For this blank cold, this sadness without cause. The great structure has become a minor house. No turban walks across the lessened floors. The greenhouse never so badly needed paint. The chimney is fifty years old and slants to one side. A fantastic effort has failed, a repetition In a repetitiousness of men and flies. Yet the absence of the imagination had Itself to be imagined. The great pond, The plain sense of it, without reflections, leaves, Mud, water like dirty glass, expressing silence Of a sort, silence of a rat come out to see, The great pond and its waste of the lilies, all this Had to be imagined as an inevitable knowledge, Required, as a necessity requires.