Person and persona

Arrival at the Waldorf
(by Wallace Stevens)

Home from Guatemala, back at the Waldorf.
This arrival in the wild country of the soul,
All approaches gone, being completely there

Where the wild poem is a substitute
For the woman one loves or ought to love
One wild rhapsody a fake for another.

You touch the hotel the way you touch moonlight
Or sunlight and you hum and the orchestra
Hums and you say “The world in a verse,

A generation sealed, men remoter than mountains,
Women invisible in music and motion and color,”
After that alien, point-blank, green and actual Guatemala.

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