I always liked Ezra Pound’s definition of the poet as being the ‘antenna of the race’.  Here Wallace Stevens enlarges their role to an almost superhuman magnitude.

It reads like a description of Shakespeare or Dante, and I like in particular the notion of one who ‘has had the time to think enough’, particularly as you might have attributed that to philosophers more than poets.  And then that ‘mirror with a voice’ who sums us up.


‘The man who has had the time to think enough,

The central man, the human globe, responsive

As a mirror with a voice, the man of glass,

Who in a million diamonds sums us up.’  


Source: Wallace Stevens, quoted in John Drury, Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert (London: Penguin Books, 2014), p. 328

Photo credit: Didgeman at pixabay


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