Of Mere Being

BY WALLACE STEVENS


The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze decor,

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.

You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.

The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird's fire-fangled feathers dangle down.






Wallace Stevens, "Of Mere Being" from The Palm at the End of the Mind: Selected Poems and a Play. Copyright © 1967, 1969, 1971 by Holly Stevens. All rights reserved.

Source: The Palm at the End of the Mind: Selected Poems and a Play by Wallace Stevens (Alfred A. Knopf, 1971)


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