Even a lone wolf breathes the same air as the rest of us

January 11th, 2011

The soul, he said, is composed
Of the external world.

– Wallace Stevens

Even a mentally unstable person is influenced by the culture around him; perhaps especially a mentally unstable person is going to be influenced by the tone of the culture around him. Perhaps he is the canary in the coal mine. Just because a suspect is thought to be mentally unstable does not release people from the responsibility of their own words and actions and the way those words and actions set a tone in the world around us.

5 Responses to “Even a lone wolf breathes the same air as the rest of us”

  1. Gretchen on January 11, 2011 5:18 pm

    May I post this on my Facebook? I would post your name or “anonymous.” Whatever you prefer.

  2. Jennifer on January 11, 2011 8:50 pm

    @ Gretchen, sure you can re-post this under my name. Thanks for asking.

  3. Bethany on January 12, 2011 9:38 am

    Beautifully said. It catches at my heart too.

  4. jessica on January 15, 2011 4:39 pm

    just out of curiosity…are you at all partial to Wallace Stevens?

  5. Jennifer on January 15, 2011 8:39 pm

    Jessica, my familiarity with Stevens is woefully inadequate for a US poet. I’ve actually set myself as a project for this year to read one Wallace Stevens poem a day – that’ll get me all the way through the Selected Poems and into an additional book. I’m hoping, as I get closer to the end of the Selected Poems, that I’ll know where to go next. Harmonium? The Collected Works? We’ll see. His use of repetition is masterful, I’ll say that.

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