“To hear/Hear hard, sets out an essential integrity”
I was reading Stevens’ later philosophical/metaphysical poems today and this line leaped at me. What does it mean to hear hard and how is this connected to integrity? Integrity can be an abstract notion. I look the word up again. Ah ha! One of its definitions is ” the quality of being unimpaired; soundness.” To hear hard is to make oneself sound. To listen intently means one rings within. One is the world’s knell, deepening the chiming universe.