“A Quiet Normal Life” by Wallace Stevens

His place, as he sat and as he thought, was not

In anything that he constructed, so frail,

So barely lit, so shadowed over and naught,

 

As, for example, a world in which, like snow,

He became an inhabitant, obedient

To gallant notions on the part of cold.

 

It was here. This was the setting and the time

Of year. Here in his house and in his room,

In his chair, the most tranquil thought grew peaked

 

And the oldest and warmest heart was cut

By gallent notions on the part of night –

Both late and alone, above the crickets’ chords,

 

Babbling, each one, the uniqueness of its sound.

There was no fury in transcendent forms.

But his actual candle blazed with artifice.

 

—-

Wallace Stevens 1879-1955

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