Of Mere Being
by Wallace Stevens
The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze distance.
A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.
You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.
The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird’s fire-fangled feathers dangle down.
Last Poems of Wallace Stevens
Composer(s): Ned Rorem
Song(s): 1. Not Ideas about the Thing but the Thing Itself
2. The River of Rivers in Connecticut
3. A Child Asleep in Its Own Life
4. The Planet on the Table
5. The Dove in Spring
6. Of Mere Being
7. A Clear Day and No Memories