the time of year has grown indifferent.
mildew of summer and the deepening snow
are both alike in the routine i know.
i am too dumbly in my being pent.
the wind attendant on the solstices
blows on the shutters of the metropoles,
stirring no poet in his sleep, and tolls
the grand ideas of the villages.
the malady of the quotidian...
perhaps, if winter once could penetrate
through all its purples to the final slate,
persisting bleakly in an icy haze,
one might in turn become less diffident,
out of such mildew plucking neater mould
and spouting new orations of the cold.
one might. one might. but time will not relent.
(from Stevens, Collected Poetry & Prose, p. 81)
* * * * *
Clearly Stevens was experiencing a bout of poetic acedie expressed in this poem. maybe i like it because i can relate to it: the feeling of those periods where everything seems to stop, inside and outside. i know what he means about the snow and the mildew, perhaps because I also hail from southeastern Pennsylvania, where we have these seasons. and if only he could take some time out of his busy schedule, the routine of work, child-rearing and homelife, to articulate his feelings and penetrate his perceptions more fully.
This a poem that was later added to Harmonium.