Domination of Black is a poem in Wallace Stevens' Harmonium, first published in 1916 and later (1942) selected by him as his best poem for the anthology This is my best.
| Domination of Black
At night, by the fire,
The colors of their tails
Out of the window,
It can be compared to imagist paintings of the period such as Klee's "Blaue Nacht", Klee's shades of blue replaced by Stevens' colors of the night. Stevens adds unsettling elements. The poem unfolds like a little horror show. A fire creates flickering images of the colors of bushes and leaves, which themselves turn in the wind. Also the color of heavy hemlocks "came striding", as from the river Styx ("the Stygian hemlocks", in Vendler's phrase). Ambiguous peacocks descend from the hemlocks. Then the poet notices outside his window the planets gathering isomorphically, "Like the leaves themselves", and the night came striding. The threat of darkness (death? suicide?) is palpable: "I felt afraid."
See also "Tea", which, like "Domination of Black", demonstrates "all the troping of leaves through the collection".
Famous quotes containing the words domination of, black and/or domination:
“Let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples of the earththey are the focus of evil in the modern world.”
—Ronald Reagan (b. 1911)
“As you grow older, youll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and dont you forget itwhenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.”
—Harper Lee (b. 1926)
“The will to domination is a ravenous beast. There are never enough warm bodies to satiate its monstrous hunger. Once alive, this beast grows and grows, feeding on all the life around it, scouring the earth to find new sources of nourishment. This beast lives in each man who battens on female servitude.”
—Andrea Dworkin (b. 1946)