The law of chaos is the law of ideas,
Of improvisations and seasons of belief.
Ideas are men. The mass of meaning and
The mass of men are one. Chaos is not
The mass of meaning. It is three or four
Ideas, or, say, five men or, possibly, six.
In the end, these philosophic assassins pull
Revolvers and shoot each other. One remains.
The mass of meaning becomes composed again.
He that remains plays on an instrument
A good agreement between himself and night,
A chord between the mass of men and himself,
Far, far beyond the putative canzones
Of love and summer. The assassin sings
In chaos and his song is a consolation.
It is the music of the mass of meaning.
And yet it is a singular romance,
This warmth in the blood-world for the pure idea,
This inability to find a sound,
That clings to the mind like that right sound, that song
Of the assassin that remains and sings
In the high imagination, triumphantly.
--from 'Extracts from Addresses to the Academy of Fine Ideas'; Wallace Stevens