Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Commonplace Entry

This entry is from "Two or Three Ideas" an essay by Wallace Stevens

"To see the gods dispelled in mid-air and dissolve like clouds is one of the great human experiences.  It is not as if they had gone over the horizon to disappear for a time;  nor as if they had been overcome by other gods of greater power and profounder knowledge.  It is simply that they came to nothing.  Since we have always shared all things with them and have always had a part of their strength and, certainly, all of their knowledge, we shared likewise this experience of annihilation.  It was their annihilation , not ours, and yet it left us feeling that in a measure we, too, had been annihilated.  It left us felling dispossessed and alone in a solitude, like children without parents, in a home that seemed deserted, in which the amicable rooms and halls had taken on a look of hardness and emptiness."  

"Two or Three Ideas" in Collected Prose and Poetry by Wallace Stevens.  The Library of America, 1997, p 842.

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