The Man With The Blue Guitar
By Wallace Stevens
The man bent over his guitar, A shearsman of sorts. The day was green. They said, "You have a blue guitar, You do not play things as they are." The man replied, "Things as they are Are changed upon the blue guitar." And they said then, "But play, you must, A tune beyond us, yet ourselves, A tune upon the blue guitar Of things exactly as they are." II I cannot bring a world quite round, Although I patch it as I can. I sing a hero's head, large eye And bearded bronze, but not a man, Although I patch him as I can And reach through him almost to man. If to serenade almost to man Is to miss, by that, things as they are, Say it is the serenade Of a man that plays a blue guitar. III Ah, but to play man number one, To drive the dagger in his heart, To lay his brain upon the board And pick the acrid colors out, To nail his thought across the door, Its wings spread wide to rain and snow, To strike his living hi and ho, To tick it, tock it, turn it true, To bang from it a savage blue, Jangling the metal of the strings� IV So that's life, then: things as they are? It picks its way on the blue guitar. A million people on one string? And all their manner in the thing, And all their manner, right and wrong, And all their manner, weak and strong? The feelings crazily, craftily call, Like a buzzing of flies in autumn air, And that's life, then: things as they are, This buzzing of the blue guitar.