The Poem That Took the Place of a Mountain



By Wallace Stevens


There it was, word for word,
The poem that took the place of a mountain.


He breathed its oxygen,
Even when the book lay turned in the dust of his table.


It reminded him how he had needed
A place to go to in his own direction,


How he had recomposed the pines,
Shifted the rocks and picked his way among clouds,


For the outlook that would be right,
Where he would be complete in an unexplained completion:


The exact rock where his inexactnesses
Would discover, at last, the view toward which they had edged,


Where he could lie and, gazing down at the sea,
Recognize his unique and solitary home.


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