The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm

By Wallace Stevens

The house was quiet and the worldwas calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being ofthe book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if therewas no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much mostto be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like aperfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning,part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.

And the world was calm. The truthin a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer andnight, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

Wallace Stevens


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