Poetry Is a Destructive Force
That's what misery is, Nothing to have at heart. It is to have or nothing. It is a thing to have, A lion, an ox in his breast, To feel it breathing there. Corazon, stout dog, Young ox, bow-legged bear, He tastes its blood, not spit. He is like a man In the body of a violent beast. Its muscles are his own . . . The lion sleeps in the sun. Its nose is on its paws. It can kill a man.
From The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens by Wallace Stevens. Copyright © 1954 by Wallace Stevens and renewed in 1982 by Holly Stevens. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.