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About this Poem 

“The Florist Wears Knee-Breeches” was first published in March of 1916 in Others: A Magazine of the New Verse, a New York City based magazine which focused on modernist poetry. The poem was posthumously published in the collection Opus Posthumous: Poems, Plays, Prose (Knopf, 1957).

The Florist Wears Knee-Breeches

My flowers are reflected
In your mind
As you are reflected in your glass.
When you look at them,
There is nothing in your mind
Except the reflections
Of my flowers.
But when I look at them
I see only the reflections
In your mind,
And not my flowers.
It is my desire
To bring roses,
And place them before you
In a white dish.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Wallace Stevens

Wallace Stevens

Though he did not receive widespread recognition until late in his life, Wallace Stevens—whose work is known for its imagination, whimsy, and relation to both the English Romantics and French symbolists—is now considered one of the major American poets of the century. 

by this poet

poem
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
2
poem

It is true that the rivers went nosing like swine,
Tugging at banks, until they seemed
Bland belly-sounds in somnolent troughs,

That the air was heavy with the breath of these swine,
The breath of turgid summer, and
Heavy with thunder’s rattapallax,

That the man who erected this

poem

Every time the bucks went clattering,
Over Oklahoma
A firecat bristled in the way.

Wherever they went,
They went clattering.
Until they swerved,
In a swift, circular line,
To the right,
Because of the firecat.

Or until they swerved,
In a swift, circular line,