The Death of a Soldier


Life contracts and death is expected,
As in a season of autumn.
The soldier falls.

He does not become a three-day personage,
Imposing his separation,
Calling for pomp.

Death is absolute and without memorial,
As in a season of autumn,
When the wind stops,

When the wind stops and, over the heavens,
The clouds go, nevertheless,
In their direction.


Wallace Stevens, The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens, Alfred A. Knopf, 1954.