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.
Copyright © 2011 by Wallace Stevens. Reprinted from Selected Poems with the permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Date Published: 2011-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/plain-sense-things