Saturday, December 6, 2014

wild ducks, people, and distances


The life of the world depends on that he is
Alive, on that people are alive, on that
There is village and village of them, without regard
To that be-misted one and apart from her.

Did we expect to live in other lives?
We grew used so soon, too soon, to earth itself,
As an element; to the sky as an element.
People might share but were never an element,

Like earth and sky. Then he became nothing else
And they were  nothing else. It was late in the year.
The wild ducks were enveloped. The weather was cold.
Yet, under the migrations to solitude, 

There remained the smoke of the villages. Their fire
Was central in distances the wild ducks could
Not span, without any weather at all, except
The weather of other lives, from which there could
Be no migrating. It was that they were there
That held the distances off: the villages
Held off the final, fatal distances,
Between us and the place in which we stood.

–Wallace Stevens


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