Stress, like that person you marginally know but who won't leave your dinner party even though you are ready to call it a night, shrouds modern life and dyes it in an uncertain hue. Yet when I read and re-read this poem this morning, I truly was able to let go and bid stress adieu for a few blissful moments.
Perhaps I should mention that allegedly Stevens wrote "Of Mere Being" on his death bed . . . but does it really matter?
Of Mere Being
The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze distance.
A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.
You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.
The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird’s fire-fangled feathers dangle down.