So there is this glass…

The poets have written about the world as a space that the mind fills up like a glass that we fill with water. It exists, objectively, but it only means what we make it mean. So the objective world becomes filled with our ideas of it…

Typewriter & Coffee (2)Wallace Stevens was particularly involved in exploring how the idea of the imaginary gets pasted onto the real. Ironically, he used poetry to describe the ways that words come between us and the real world; words create a distance and animate some interplay that works like a child’s shadow running across the lawn.

We see the grass and know that it is perfectly green under our shadow, but first we see the shadow and see that it moves – like us – with a human form. So the objective world becomes human.

And unless we take radical steps to get beyond the notions we take for granted, we will no doubt quickly agree that, yes, the world is human. So what?

If the world means what we make it mean, if the glass is filled by our ideas, where is the line between the imaginary and the real?

How much of the shape of how we see the world is determined by the glass itself and how much is purely up to us?

What happens if we overfill the glass? And if we see something in the glass that we do not want to see, something we don’t like, can we blink it away or pour it out? If the world is made up out of our minds, can we change it?

Are we subjects of an objective world or have we, by dint of imagination and without a second thought, managed to subject the objective world to our idea(s) of it? Then what allegiance, what compassion do we owe to our vassal?

So the world comes into our care.


The House Was Quiet and The World Was Calm

by Wallace Stevens


The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.

The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,

Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be

The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.

The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:

The access of perfection to the page.
And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,

In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself

Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

Twilight Cafe


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