Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wallace Stevens and Walking the Landscape

I’m reading, or actually rereading, Living in the Nature Poem by Mary Harwell Sayler, and I’m taken by this poem:

Landscape Loved by Wallace Stevens

If you could fly over \ yards and yards
of green lace lining the Gulf and Space
Coasts, you would see low-lying bands
of land seeding the sea with pockets blue –
beaded with water, and you’d wonder how
one more word could fit into the shell –
shaped pattern, hemmed with canals, and
not unravel beneath the weight of so many
people pushing the delicate fabric, poking
the intricate design, picking at flaws not
found in winter-bound spools of wool.

That landscape is more than familiar; it’s personal. I grew up near the Gulf Coast; I’m familiar with the Space Coast. I’ve flown over area enough to recognize those “low-lying bands of land seeding the sea.” And I know those coastal skies, close cousins to the skies you find in the great Dutch paintings.

To continue reading, please see my post today at TweetspeakPoetry.

Photograph: One of the hiking trails at Shaw Nature Reserve, southwest of St. Louis.

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