Connoisseur of Chaos by Wallace Stevens

 Connoisseur of Chaos by Wallace Stevens


 I

A. A violent order is a disorder; and
B. A great disorder is an order. These
Two things are one. (Pages of illustrations.)


II

If all the green of spring was blue, and it is;
If all the flowers of South Africa were bright
On the tables of Connecticut, and they are;
If Englishmen lived without tea in Ceylon,
and they do;
And if it all went on in an orderly way,
And it does; a law of inherent opposites,
Of essential unity, is as pleasant as port,
As pleasant as the brush-strokes of a bough,
An upper, particular bough in, say, Marchand.


III

After all the pretty contrast of life and death
Proves that these opposite things partake of one,
At least that was the theory, when bishops' books
Resolved the world. We cannot go back to that.
The squirming facts exceed the squamous mind,
If one may say so. And yet relation appears, 
A small relation expanding like the shade
Of a cloud on sand, a shape on the side of a hill.




 View of painter Dale McNeil's studio in Memphis, TN, 2010



IV

A. Well, an old order is a violent one.
This proves nothing. Just one more truth, one
more
Element in the immense disorder of truths.
B. It is April as I write. The wind
Is blowing after days of constant rain.
All this, of course, will come to summer soon.
But suppose the disorder of truths should ever 
come
To an order, most Plantagenet, most fixed...
A great disorder is an order. Now, A
And B are not like statuary, posed
For a vista in the Louvre. They are things chalked 
On the sidewalk so that the pensive man may see.


V

The pensive man...He sees the eagle float
For which the intricate Alps are a single nest.








Comments