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Sea Surface Full of Clouds

06/19/2012  by Arlo Haskell  2 Comments

That’s the radar image from Key West, shortly before 11:00 this morning. With possible rainfall amounts of 3-5 inches over the next 36 hours, strong easterly winds, and astronomically high new-moon tides, these are particularly good days for reading indoors.

From Wallace Stevens, “The Sea Surface Full of Clouds”:

“Good clown. . . . One thought of Chinese chocolate
And large umbrellas. And a motley green
Followed the drift of the obese machine

Of ocean, perfected in indolence.
What pistache one, ingenious and droll,
Beheld the sovereign clouds as jugglery

And the sea as turquoise-turbaned Sambo, neat
At tossing saucers—cloudy-conjuring sea?
C’était mon esprit bâtard, l’ignominie.

The sovereign clouds came clustering. The conch
Of loyal conjuration trumped. The wind
Of green blooms turning crisped the motley hue

To clearing opalescence. Then the sea
And heaven rolled as one and from the two
Came fresh transfigurings of freshest blue.”


2 Responses

  1. Such a lovely poem.

    I would love to attend the seminar in January. I applied for a scholarship for the 2009 seminar. I so wanted to meet James Tate.

    • Arlo Haskell says:

      Hope to see you here, Misti! The application deadline for scholarships this year is June 30. Good luck!

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