Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Man Carrying Thing

The poem must resist the intelligence 
Almost successfully. Illustration: 

A brune figure in winter evening resists 
Identity. The thing he carries resists 

The most necessitous sense. Accept them, then,
As secondary (parts not quite perceived 

Of the obvious whole, uncertain particles 
Of the certain solid, the primary free from doubt,
 
Things floating like the first hundred flakes of snow 
Out of a storm we must endure all night, 

Out of a storm of secondary things), 
A horror of thoughts that suddenly are real. 

We must endure our thoughts all night, until 
The bright obvious stands motionless in cold. 

Credit


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.

Author


Wallace Stevens

Though he did not receive widespread recognition until late in his life, Wallace Stevens—whose work is known for its imagination, whimsy, and relation to both the English Romantics and French symbolists—is now considered one of the major American poets of the century. 

Date Published: 1980-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/man-carrying-thing