After the final no there comes a yes

aureole house

here’s a poem by the American poet     Wallace Stevens:


The Well Dressed Man With a Beard


After the final no there comes a yes

And on that yes the future world depends.

No was the night. Yes is this present sun.

If the rejected things, the things denied,

Slid over the western cataract, yet one,

One only, one thing that was firm, even

No greater than a cricket’s horn, no more

Than a thought to be rehearsed all day, a speech

Of the self that must sustain itself on speech,

One thing remaining, infallible, would be

Enough. Ah! douce campagna of that thing!

Ah! douce campagna, honey in the heart,

Green in the body, out of a petty phrase,

Out of a thing believed, a thing affirmed:

The form on the pillow humming while one sleeps,

The aureole above the humming house . . .


It can never be satisfied, the mind, never.




( douce campagna means  “sweet countryside”


<a href=””>Denial</a&gt;


Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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