Wallace Stevens

Thunder by the Musican

Sure enough, moving, the thunder became men,
Ten thousand, men hewn and tumbling,
Mobs of ten thousand,
This way and that.

Slowly, one man, savager than the rest,
Rose up, tallest, in the black sun,
Stood up straight in the air, struck off
The clutch of the others.

And, according to the composer, this butcher,
Held in his hand the suave egg-diamond
That had flashed (like vicious music that ends
In transparent accords).

It would have been better, the time conceived,
To have him holding – what?
His arm would be trembling, he would be weak,
Even though he shouted.

The sky would be full of bodies like wood,
There would have been cries of the dead
And the living would be speaking,
As a self that lives on itself.

It would have been better for his hands
To be convulsed, to have remained the hands
Of one wilder than the rest (the music blunted,
Yet the sound of that).