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Wallace Stevens - A High-Toned Old Christian Woman

Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame.
Take the moral law and make a nave of it
And from the nave build haunted heaven. Thus,
The conscience is converted into palms,
Like windy citherns hankering for hymns.
We agree in principle. That's clear. But take
The opposing law and make a peristyle,
And from the peristyle project a masque
Beyond the planets. Thus, our bawdiness,
Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last,
Is equally converted into palms,
Squiggling like saxophones. And palm for palm,
Madame, we are where we began. Allow,
Therefore, that in the planetary scene
Your disaffected flagellants, well-stuffed,
Smacking their muzzy bellies in parade,
Proud of such novelties of the sublime,
Such tink and tank and tunk-a-tunk-tunk,
May, merely may, madame, whip from themselves
A jovial hullabaloo among the spheres.
This will make widows wince. But fictive things
Wink as they will. Wink most when widows wince.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 81 times | Comments and analysis of A High-Toned Old Christian Woman by Wallace Stevens Comments (87)

A High-Toned Old Christian Woman - Comments and Information

Poet: Wallace Stevens
Poem: A High-Toned Old Christian Woman
Poem of the Day: Oct 29 2007

Comment 87 of 87, added on January 1st, 2016 at 3:22 AM.
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hsgDbTJWfwaAPxw from Brunei Darussalam, Negara
Comment 86 of 87, added on December 31st, 2015 at 11:23 AM.
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tRbnrHwokkxYbciE from Mozambique
Comment 85 of 87, added on November 28th, 2015 at 2:05 AM.
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