As I walked round Kenwood meadow I was moved by the slightly sombre colours of blue rain cloud above green trees about to lose their leaves and glinting in the weak sunlight... I felt this was a significant thing - but significance exists in minds not in things...
...I had been thinking of the declaration of Wallace Stevens 'no ideas but in things'* and I was wondering if even so fine a poet as he could be driven by his time into materialism? But no, for I realised that, in linking ideas to objects, he was more likely to be opposing the dualism that (in the scientific declaration that matter is the only reality) separates the whole into two parts, one real one imaginary. Yes, I believe that what both Stevens and Williams were doing was to reconceive of thought as the context, or the matrix (the mother), of the things we call things.
Yes, it was Williams. What Stevens wrote was the title of the last poem in The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens (Faber and Faber, London 1955):
NOT IDEAS ABOUT THE THING
BUT THE THING ITSELF
and the last line of the poem is:
......It was like
A new knowledge of reality.
(these pages are designed to be read with the window set to two-thirds of the screen width)what's new
digital diary archive
daffodil email newsletter© 2002, 2003, 2004 john chris jones
If you wish to reproduce any of this text commercially please send a copyright permission request to jcj at publicwriting.net