A Clear Day and No Memories


"A Clear Day and No Memories" is the seventh and final poem and song in Ned Rorem's Last Poems of Wallace Stevens. The song is for soprano, cello, and piano.

A Clear Day and No Memories
by Wallace Stevens

No soldiers in the scenery,
No thoughts of people now dead,
As they were fifty years ago,
Young and living in a live air,
Young and walking in the sunshine,
Bending in blue dresses to touch something,
Today the mind is not part of the weather.
Today the air is clear of everything.
It has no knowledge except of nothingness
And it flows over us without meanings,
As if none of us had ever been here before
And are not now: in this shallow spectacle,
This invisible activity, this sense.

--The Palm at the End of the Mind: Selected Poems and a Play

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