Dr. Virginia Konchan

Marist Writer-in-Residence

"Of Mere Being"
by Wallace Stevens.

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze decor,

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.
Read the full poem

Exemplary of Romantic irony, this poem speaks of mortality yet contains a sense of immortality. It is a testament of song. What one knows of "mere being" is an image on the edge of space at that point where being becomes nothingness. This poem proves the ultimate creativity of self, as well as a reality that exists beyond form or metaphor, and gives hope in a "beyond" we glimpse through faith, not perception.