The Rabbit as the King of the Ghosts
Note: This morning I downloaded a ebook from Sina Vdisk named Rabbit Is Rich, which was the winner of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction1. It opens with Wallace Stevens’s poems: The rabbit as the king of the ghosts.
The difficulty to think at the end of day,
When the shapeless shadow covers the sun
And nothing is left except light on your fur—
There was the cat slopping its milk all day,
Fat cat, red tongue, green mind, white milk,
And August the most peaceful month.
To be, in the grass, in the peacefullest time,
Without that monument of cat,
The cat forgotten in the moon;
And to feel that the light is a rabbit-light,
In which everything is meant for you
And nothing need be explained;
Then there is nothing to think of. It comes of itself;
And east rushes west and west rushes down,
No matter. The grass is full,
And full of yourself. The trees around are for you,
The whole of the wideness of night is for you,
A self that touches all edges,
You become a self that fills the four corners of night.
The red cat hides away in the fur-light
And there you are humped high, humped up,
You are humped higher and higher, black as stone—
You sit with your head like a carving in space
And the little green cat is a bug in the grass.
Rabbit Is Rich is a 1981 novel by John Updike. It is the third novel of the four-part series which begins with Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux, and concludes2 with Rabbit At Rest. There is also a related 2001 novella3, Rabbit Remembered. Rabbit Is Rich was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction in 1982, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 1981.
Wallace Stevens (October 2, 1879 – August 2, 1955) was an American Modernist poet. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, educated at Harvard and then New York Law School, and he spent most of his life working as an executive for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his Collected Poems in 1955.
Some of his best-known poems include:
- Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock
- Anecdote of the Jar
- The Emperor of Ice-Cream
- The Idea of Order at Key West
- Sunday Morning
- The Snow Man
- Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
- books and stories about imaginary people and events
- to end something such as a meeting, book, event, or speech by doing or saying one final thing
- a story that is shorter than a novel, but longer than a short story