However, there are also some Shiite sects that practice flagellation. But take The opposing law and make a peristyle, And from the peristyle project a masque Beyond the planets. But now, almost a decade after her death, firmly ensconced in his poetry vapor bar, he can carry on the argument in his head, on his own terms. Thus, our bawdiness, Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last, Is equally converted into palms, Squiggling like saxophones. Addressing the High Toned Old Christian Woman, the speaker comically proposes an alternative to Christianity in the form of a mummers parade or a Mardi Gras festivity. Copyright © 1985 by the University of California Press. .
Most are delighted by recalling their own adventures, however sparse. Take the moral law and make a nave of it And from the nave build haunted heaven. It seems that you don't even fully understand it, since you are guessing at some of the meaning. One has the impression that you automatically love anything that Wallace Stevens comes out with, and assume that the meaning is enlightening and unexpected, and you describe the sense you make of it very well. I love the jovial hulabaloo because to me it is like Jove god, Universe laughing uproariously at man's pomposity and foolishness.
Stevens creates comparisons from the first mention of those subjects to the next mention. His early celebration of commonplace, specific details, however, is difficult to reconcile with the poetry and poetics of 1915-1936. And palm for palm, Madame, we are where we began. But take The opposing law and make a peristyle, And from the peristyle project a masque Beyond the planets. The speaker is a writer of love poems and he is talking to a devout Christian woman who seems to have repudiated poetry. Stevens in Kermode and Richardson 47. The blasphemy of comparing the penitential sacrament to something as unsacred as poetry? Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame.
The heaven of poetry is equally as elusive as that of Christianity. Poetry can be transformed into an object of spiritual importance. Allow, Therefore, that in the planetary scene Your disaffected flagellants, well-stuffed, Smacking their muzzy bellies in parade, Proud of such novelties of the sublime, Such tink and tank and tunk-a-tunk-tunk, May, merely may, madame, whip from themselves A jovial hullabaloo among the spheres. Wink most when widows wince. Stevens proposes that religious fictions have no greater status than fictions of the imagination that include sensuality and play. One odd thing about this definition, though, is that is seems to be regional to Connecticut and New England, which is exactly where the vice president of the Hartford spent most of his later years.
It can be the medium of expressing moral and religious themes. A cithern is a stringed instrument similar to a mandolin. This could represent the comparison of the interpretation of poetry and the interpretation of religious literature. The idea is that the classical ideals could aspire beyond the understood planets, to the great unknown, with the implication that this was something unavailable to the Christian tradition. But take The opposing law and make a peristyle, And from the peristyle project a masque Beyond the planets.
A nave is an empty place for worshippers and a haunted Heaven gives the idea that Heaven is a place for dead worshippers. Not only they, but even widows are aroused by poetry. Wink most when widows wince. This will make widows wince. And palm for palm, Madame, we are where we began. The passage could equally be read, however, as its messy poetic antithesis: that belief in the Christian dogmas turns the human conscience and by extension the soul into a meaningless symbol, to be left with no more consciousness and will than a musical instrument on which the meaningless choir book is played. Wink most when widows wince.
Thus, The conscience is converted into palms, Like windy citherns hankering for hymns. It seems to travel from logic to emotion and back again, almost becoming a rant. But fictive things Wink as they will. There is no wrong with poetry itself. Poetry need not be vulgar or be only about love and sex.
A peristyle is the interior courtyard or garden area of an ancient Grecian home. The voice starts out imperious and high-brow, and then degenerates into a burlesque of squiggling saxophones and disaffected flagellants in parade. But where is the poetic value? The poet's vulgarity may not be purified by verses on the tomb. Rather, poetry is something that the religious as well as the atheistic have been using to gain their own kinds of heaven: one will gain the heaven of faith and the other will create the heaven of imagination. Once informed as to what the words mean, however, there remains the meaning of the lines. It is not merely that Stevens argues for the necessary angel of the human, but that he enacts it with all its ambiguity, energy, misunderstanding and hopefulness. It can convert the abstract into concrete.