Good night

Some things, nino, some things are like this,
That instantly and in themselves they are gay
And you and I are such things, O most miserable…

For a moment they are as gay and are a part
Of an element, the exactest element for us,
In which we pronounce joy like a word of our own.

It is there, being imperfect, and with these things
And erudite in happiness, with nothing learned,
That we are joyously ourselves and we think

Without the labor of thought, in that element,
And we feel, in a way apart, for a moment, as if
There was a bright scienza outside of ourselves,

A gaiety that is being, not merely knowing,
The will to be and to be total in belief,
Provoking a laughter, an agreement by surprise.

— Wallace Stevens
“Of Bright & Blue Birds & the Gala Sun”
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One Response to Good night

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is anyone disturbed by Stevens’ apparent suggestion of the authenticily of “to be total in belief”? The concern here is not with belief but with total. Total is what gets us in trouble, as in a total system of beliefs, a total system of political governance.

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