Attending my Literature classes is one of my favorite things in the world, and this semester I have two subjects related to it: English Literature from the XIX Century and American Literature from the XIX to the present day.
Yesterday, my teacher told us about Wallace Stevens, a certain American poet who happened to be quite interested in philosophy, ideas and the human mind. There was one poem which especially got to me: Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock. It was as follows:
The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns.
None are green,
Or purple with green rings,
Or green with yellow rings,
Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange,
With socks of lace
And beaded ceintures.
People are not going
To dream of baboons and periwinkles.
Only, here and there, an old sailor,
Drunk and asleep in his boots,
In red weather.
What he basically meant was to remark how people lack of imagination. They limit themselves to wear plain white night-gowns, to think plain white ideas, or to not even think about anything. They don’t dream, and when they do, they do it in black and white. Sometimes, those who are ‘socially rejected’ like the poor old drunk sailor of the poem, are those who happen to dream, to live. They are able to see the world in a different way, in a way that not many people see.
Society has no imagination. And when you try to think out of the box and be different, they’ll judge you.
And I say, screw them!
You are entitled to have a colorful night-gown, a rare dream in which you go ‘catching tigers in red weather’. You are entitled to have beaded ceintures and lace socks. You only need to think a bit for yourself and dare to be different.
And, in the meantime, I’ll be watching and thinking of more things. And, who knows? maybe I’ll be able to remember my dreams tonight.