Aug 30 2018

Wallace Stevens – The house was quiet and the world was calm

Published by at 6:40 am under Poetry

The house was quiet and the world was calm
by Wallace Stevens

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.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.

And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

— from The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens, by Wallace Stevens


/ Image by AwakeNight /

Can’t you just feel the calm spreading out into the summer night? So quiet you hear the crackling of stillness like a whisper in the skull.

I picture the poet in the 1950s, on a cool night after an overlong hot day, sitting in a wooden chair outside on his porch, a porchlight above his shoulder drawing moths, a book open in his lap, and all the night seems to be leaning in to read with him. He shifts his weight, the chair creaks, and all falls into silence again.

Calm, quiet, meaning, mind…

One can say the poet is enjoying a sweet, timeless moment reading a book. Or it could be that he has been overtaken by communion with heaven and earth. The book is just an excuse to be there.

This summer night, I hope you too have a sweet, timeless moment when the house is quiet and the world calm

Sending much love!


Recommended Books: Wallace Stevens

The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens


Wallace Stevens, Wallace Stevens poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry Wallace Stevens

US (1879 – 1955) Timeline
Secular or Eclectic

More poetry by Wallace Stevens

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Wallace Stevens – The house was quiet and the world was calm”

  1. Olga T.on 30 Aug 2018 at 8:07 am

    Something about people, including the reader (incl. myself!) that is not yet as perfect as the surroundings.

    This, I understand from the lines:
    “The words were spoken as if there was no book
    Except that the reader leaned above the page,
    Wanted to lean, wanted much to be,
    The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom,
    The summer night is like a perfection of thought.”

    Maybe this is why we have to keep reading…
    Thanks for posting!

  2. Annaon 31 Aug 2018 at 9:08 am

    Hi Ivan,

    When the House is clean and pure,
    this quietness vibrates with the
    frequencies of the Heart vibrations –
    528 Hz… Love vibrations.

    Love, aware of itself,
    creates inside and
    projects itself outside,
    a calm, beautiful world,
    shimmering, summer night,
    alive, pulsating, talking, communing…
    with 528 Hz…

    The book is probably the
    Book of Life,
    our own DNA,
    still expanding, still expanding…
    we all can read it…

    (Science has proved, that
    528 Hz is essential to the sacred geometry
    of circles and spirals consistent with DNA structuring
    and hydrosonic restructuring.
    Also 528 Hz is fundamental
    to the ancient Pi, Phi, and the Golden Mean
    evident throughout natural design.)

    Sending back much love and
    weekend rest in the warmth of the
    last summer days…

    Anna

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply