Wallace Stevens

Here you will find the Poem The Man On The Dump of poet Wallace Stevens

The Man On The Dump

Day creeps down. The moon is creeping up. 
The sun is a corbeil of flowers the moon Blanche 
Places there, a bouquet. Ho-ho ... The dump is full 
Of images. Days pass like papers from a press. 
The bouquets come here in the papers. So the sun, 
And so the moon, both come, and the janitor?s poems 
Of every day, the wrapper on the can of pears, 
The cat in the paper-bag, the corset, the box 
From Esthonia: the tiger chest, for tea. 
The freshness of night has been fresh a long time. 
The freshness of morning, the blowing of day, one says 
That it puffs as Cornelius Nepos reads, it puffs 
More than, less than or it puffs like this or that. 
The green smacks in the eye, the dew in the green 
Smacks like fresh water in a can, like the sea 
On a cocoanut?how many men have copied dew 
For buttons, how many women have covered themselves 
With dew, dew dresses, stones and chains of dew, heads 
Of the floweriest flowers dewed with the dewiest dew. 
One grows to hate these things except on the dump. 

Now, in the time of spring (azaleas, trilliums, 
Myrtle, viburnums, daffodils, blue phlox), 
Between that disgust and this, between the things 
That are on the dump (azaleas and so on) 
And those that will be (azaleas and so on), 
One feels the purifying change. One rejects 
The trash. 

That?s the moment when the moon creeps up 
To the bubbling of bassoons. That?s the time 
One looks at the elephant-colorings of tires. 
Everything is shed; and the moon comes up as the moon 
(All its images are in the dump) and you see 
As a man (not like an image of a man), 
You see the moon rise in the empty sky. 

One sits and beats an old tin can, lard pail. 
One beats and beats for that which one believes. 
That?s what one wants to get near. Could it after all 
Be merely oneself, as superior as the ear 
To a crow?s voice? Did the nightingale torture the ear, 
Pack the heart and scratch the mind? And does the ear 
Solace itself in peevish birds? Is it peace, 
Is it a philosopher?s honeymoon, one finds 
On the dump? Is it to sit among mattresses of the dead, 
Bottles, pots, shoes and grass and murmur aptest eve: 
Is it to hear the blatter of grackles and say 
Invisible priest; is it to eject, to pull 
The day to pieces and cry stanza my stone? 
Where was it one first heard of the truth? The the.