Angel Surrounded by Paysans
– Wallace Stevens
One of the countrymen :
A welcome at the door to which no one comes?
The angel :
I am the angel of reality,
Seen for the moment standing in the door.
I have neither ashen wing nor wear of ore
And live without a tepid aureole,
Or stars that follow me, not to attend,
But, of my being and its knowing, part.
I am one of you and being one of you
Is being and knowing what I am and know.
Yet I am the necessary angel of earth,
Since, in my sight, you see the earth again,
Cleared of its stiff and stubborn, man-locked set,
And, in my hearing, you hear its tragic drone
Rise liquidly in liquid lingerings
Like watery words awash; like meanings said
By repetitions of half meanings. Am I not,
Myself, only half of a figure of a sort,
A figure half seen, or seen for a moment, a man
Of the mind, an apparition apparelled in
Apparels of such lightest look that a turn
Of my shoulder and quickly, too quickly, I am gone?