Tuesday, October 28, 2008


A red bird flies across the golden floor.
It is a red bird that seeks out his choir
Among the choirs of wind and wet and wing.
A torrent will fall from him when he finds.
Shall I uncrumple this much-crumpled thing?
I am a man of fortune greeting heirs;
For it has come that thus I greet the spring.
These choirs of welcome choir for me farewell.
No spring can follow past meridian.
Yet you persist with anecdotal bliss
To make believe a starry connaissance.

This one's a little out of my league without looking in some books, but I'll just stick with the idea of poetry and penis. This is the first indication of "time flying"--time as the red bird? Time as the Red Bird of the failing penis? Time as the Red Bird of the penis in search of a song? At any event it lurches toward the conclusion that "no spring can follow past meridian" which I will take to mean that 40 is the gate to the dark wood of "mid-life".

We have a Red Bird, a choir, the Poet's "I", and a "you" that may be the listener--the muse of the first section? The person Stevens is actually addressing? "You" persist "to wish upon a star" (make believe in starry connaissance).

Or is this you and I the same--a talking to the self? The you and I as two clashed edges of words that kill.

I don't know--too many things--I keep wanting to say this is a choral "lay".

The last three lines are "glory days"--but a part of me wants to center on "connaissance" another French word--for knowledge--and knowledge can be "sexual"--and the sound of connaissance seems sexual to me as well as it makes me think of renaissance. But this is a "birth" too--birth of knowledge...

Then I guess my favorite lines to interpret in this section are "Shall I uncrumple this much-crumpled thing?/I am a man of fortune greeting heirs;/For it has come that thus I greet the spring." One crumples and uncrumples Notes (poems) that you are unsure of--words on pages you believe then disbelieve then believe again...but also here is the penis again, flaccid (crumpled) and erect (uncrumpled)...the man of fortune has much to give (large endowment) to heirs (hairs?).

So perhaps the red bird of spring--youth, virility, poetic/sexual power is sung about until "spring" and then the rest recognizes the downward turn of years and diminishment.

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