We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Stevens was, if anything, too smart for his own good. Readers of his essays and correspondence know that he thought at length about the essence and purpose of poetry. Stevens was an Emersonian mystic for whom poetry was a substitute, and a fit one, for belief in God, which, for reasons he was usually vague about, was impossible for those of us living in the 20th century. The highest life to which man could aspire was one of exhaustive, all-consuming self invention. Like Eliot, he wrote the poems that fit his own extensive critical criteria to a T. I underlined the word “self” 46 times in my copy of the new Collected Poems.
He speaks to me of consciousness that belongs to the self...to observe, feel, think. It needs no explanation...it just is. The references to the cats of different colors and the rabbits signify both the instincts and the imagination...the latter a favored topic of Stevens.