Poems are not written, they are sighed

By pain, to escape pain, for pain does not wish with pain to reside.

You, who do not think, think

Poems are written by someone’s hands

When someone’s thoughts fall in a barrel of imported ink.

The professor who said this is a dirty liar.

Poems are sighed by me—who cried in the sink,

Who moaned on a walk—with a heart severely smitten

By you—not someone else—you. It was Saturday.

Friday, I had loved you willingly, willingly.

Then all that sighing. It came suddenly;

I fell ill on Saturday. You had to go. You wouldn’t say.

I sighed in my soup on Saturday.

Why you had to go, I don’t know, you wouldn’t say.

Why did you go? Now I can’t believe in Saturday.

Sunday is no better, and when Friday came again,

I believed in the Friday that was gone

Even as Friday saw me suffering, and then

Suddenly more sighing was going on.

You silly ass! Poems are not written, they are sighed

By pain—to escape pain, for pain does not wish with pain to reside.






  1. Lester Wiggs said,

    February 9, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, etc.,,,

    Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be,

    Theres a shadow hanging over me, O! I beliveve i yeastewrwsayer.

    Why she had to go I dont know she wouldns djne syasy. I sauisis sosnme tthindfg tknretk;l h woethdm,fns I jknks ow
    osdjf knwoswak;lasdj tsint kdfj yl treasdtsr tyfrhtd fdhklasdk’lty rtdsyadsf,tyfu i’askyj adsfLIg nA:SDjty rigasdj TADRSj tniadfsxjgFM>Stngj adfk/.stjagklds

  2. Wallace Stevens' Willing Servant said,

    February 10, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Dang, Lester –
    R U also drinking that Moonshine?
    Looks like you got beat up by a keyboard…

    Now if you will excuse me, I must needs sigh in my soup for an eternity.

  3. thomasbrady said,

    February 10, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    If you want to hear Wallace Stevens (the poet) himself read “Saturday” into his soup:

  4. Andrew said,

    February 14, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    I greatly enjoyed Wallace Stevens’ sonorous cadences here, which, I must add, significantly enhanced my appreciation of the poem. I have asked Wally to read my stuff but he never gets back to me. He’s a bit stuffy anyway and tends to fling all sorts of esoteric words and Frenchified phrases into it. I once successfully raised his dead spirit from the tomb, (an insurance office in downtown Hartford) but he merely sniffed at me and mumbled something about some “mysterious beauté” and then began babbling about decorating a nigger cemetery. Said he had to go look at a blackbird after diffusing some balm in an ambrosial latitude, and alas, his soul could not be detained. He tried to sell me a policy at the last minute but I declined. Weird guy — but he read your poem quite well.

    • thomasbrady said,

      February 15, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      One really must hear Wallace read.

      The sounds come alive: the exquisite, subtle sibilance which springs from the insult “ass” to join with “sigh,” a key word of the poem. You see how gently Wallace insults, how he hardly insults at all, how he really loves.

      • Andrew said,

        February 15, 2016 at 2:29 pm

        Indeed – Wally’s voice has that certain je ne sais quoi so softly and sibilantly insinuated… he evokes insurance paperwork and sighing seas of erudition
        But HOW did you get him to read your work? ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

        • thomasbrady said,

          February 15, 2016 at 4:37 pm

          I channeled him. I think he gave me permission but I I’m not sure…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: