I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
-Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
I "rediscovered" Wallace Stevens today, scribbled his name on a torn envelope to research later.
Ah, yes, the insurance salesman! What a tag for the complex man who sat quietly behind a desk composing poems that are characterized as "exotic, whimsical, infused with the light and color of an Impressionist painting."
In Of Modern Poetry Stevens writes:
...It has not always had
To find: the scene was set; it repeated what
Was in the script.
Then the theatre was changed
To something else. Its past was a souvenir.
It has to be living, to learn the speech of the place.
It has to face the men of the time and to meet
The women of the time. It has to think about war
And it has to find what will suffice. It has
To construct a new stage. It has to be on that stage...
It occurs to me that this description might serve as a metaphor for our education system, which could once "repeat what was in the script" but now needs to "construct a new stage" and to "find what will suffice".
If only we can.