The poet warns us not to “expect a catalogue of grace” which makes it weirdly difficult to quote one bit that doesn’t run into the specific particulars of some observed realty. But here goes with a bit of jumping:
Everything is in the light of everything […]
with an unfolding plenitude we are […]
Everything, before everything, is yours
and none an island — no, none, none, not one
but is the others’. We possess ourselves
only so far as others lean to us
and draw us, moving, into their stirred house
as easily as air, only so far
as everything remains itself and sings.
It is a poem that seems to transcribe mutability in its lines and yet there is a core of material resistance. If this sounds esoteric. It is. “Everything” is by the poem’s end almost a metaphysical principle. But it withdraws and “remains itself and sings.” We have Robin Skelton and his editors to thank for carrying this poem over into In This Poem I Am: Selected Poetry of Robin Skelton. Just close your eyes and repeat “everything” and you will get a sense of the effect. But you will miss the particulars. For that you need the poem as whole. But beware. You will begin to see everything as not just anything. Stein’s anyone and everyone, anyone?
And so for day 922