(October 2, 1879 – August 2, 1955 / Pennsylvania / United States)

The Thought-Fox

I imagine this midnight moment's forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock's loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow
A fox's nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.

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Comments (8)

Enjoyed so much the comments by the people below- this poem brought out a lot of insight. I cannot add a thing to their brilliant thoughts about the relationships being portrayed by this beauty. I do like how he gave this poem its calm soothing atmosphere. For one thing, he repeated the word calm six times. Only a great poet can get by with that! But another way he created that calm was by writing longer lines and that has a lulling effect that short staccato lines do not create. Then there is the rhythm of words like in these: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The house was quiet and the world was calm. The reader became the book; and summer night Was like the conscious being of the book. The house was quiet and the world was calm.
Wow, I can certainly relate to this one. I have never read his poetry before, but I will surely read more. So appropriate, given the subject matter of this poem, that he was from a town called Reading!
Beautiful poem. Such a pleasure to read and immerse in its depth of thought. Beauty and truth coexist here.
The conscience being of the book! The truth is the key. Nice piece of work.
Another excellent Wallace Stevens commentary on how the mind creates our reality. Here the reader becomes the book as the book becomes a being and part of the night with all things unified within the mind and imagination. I love Stevens' poetry.
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