They said, “You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.”
The man replied, “Things as they are
Above the arrowy, still strings,
The maker of a thing yet to be made;
The book and bread, things as they are,
In a chiaroscuro where
One sits and plays the blue guitar.
And as I am, I speak and move
And things are as I think they are
And say they are on the blue guitar.
The blue guitar surprises you.
We shall forget by day, except
The moments when we choose to play
The imagined pine, the imagined jay.
Goldberg Variations (1-4), Johann Sebastian Bach
Credits: The quotations are from Wallace Stevens’ The Man with the Blue Guitar, from stanzas i, ix, xiv, xxviii, xxxii, and xxxiii. The image is of Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist and can be found here.