'New knowledge of reality'

  An American robin, one of the most common New England songbirds.

An American robin, one of the most common New England songbirds.

 

"At the earliest ending of winter, 

In March, a scrawny cry from outside 

Seemed like a sound in his mind. 

 

"He knew that he heard it, 

A bird’s cry, at daylight or before, 

In the early March wind. ..

 

"Surrounded by its choral rings, 

Still far away. It was like 

A new knowledge of reality.''

 

-- From Wallace Stevens's "Not Ideas About the Thing but the Thing Itself". Stevens was arguably, after Robert Frost, the greatest 20th Century American poet. He was also a highly successful insurance executive in Hartford, which for many decades was called
"the insurance capital''  of the world.