By Eleanor Cook
Wallace Stevens is without doubt one of the significant poets of the 20th century, and in addition one of the so much tough. His poems might be wonderful of their verbal brilliance. they can be shot via with lavish imagery and wit, expert via a lawyer's common sense, and disarmingly unforeseen: a making a song jackrabbit, the seductive Nanzia Nunzio. in addition they spoke--and nonetheless speak--to modern issues. although his paintings is renowned and his readership maintains to develop, many readers encountering it are baffled via such wealthy and unusual poetry.
Eleanor prepare dinner, a number one critic of poetry and professional on Stevens, offers us the following the fundamental reader's consultant to this significant American poet. prepare dinner is going via each one of Stevens's poems in his six significant collections in addition to his later lyrics, in chronological order. for every poem she presents an introductory head notice and a chain of annotations on tough words and references, illuminating for us simply why and the way Stevens used to be a grasp at his artwork. Her annotations, which come with either formerly unpublished scholarship and interpretive comments, will gain novices and experts alike. cook dinner additionally presents a quick biography of Stevens, and provides an in depth appendix on how one can learn sleek poetry.
A Reader's consultant to Wallace Stevens is an fundamental source and the fitting better half to The gathered Poems of Wallace Stevens, first released in 1954 in honor of Stevens's seventy-fifth birthday, in addition to to the 1997 assortment Wallace Stevens: amassed Poetry and Prose.
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Extra info for A Reader's Guide to Wallace Stevens
The scope and variety of argument, trope, and tone make it a small handbook for writing love poems. ” The numbered stanzas are self-contained as in “Sunday Morning,” each with a core argument and typical tropes. For all its partly unresolved feelings, 38 harmonium occasional mixed effects, and densities, this poem’s felicities make it Stevens’s one great love poem. His own comment was bland and evasive (L 250–51, 1928). ). ” “sea of spuming thought . . ” “saltier well . . bursts its watery syllable”: likely mon oncle’s tears, and so troping against Wordsworth’s “Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears” (“Ode: On the Intimations of Immortality,” last line).
See titles CP 51, 55, 57, 76; OP 31, 43; LOA 41, 44, 46, 60, 539, 550. ) The Concordance shows no other uses of the word beyond these dates. harmonium 31 “bucks”: Stevens objected to an illustration of his poem that resembled “original chaos,” whereas he had in mind “something quite concrete: actual animals” (L 209, 1918). “clattering”: not usually a sound made by bucks, who more often graze or gallop. “Over Oklahoma”: an oddly skewed preposition that distances this poem from realistic narrative, moving its “actual animals” toward tale or fable, generically anecdote.
Imagination, Stevens said late in life, is the next greatest power to faith. This important qualiﬁcation needs to be remembered; it turns up in 1949: “next to holiness is the will thereto, / And next to love is the desire for love” (“An Ordinary Evening in New Haven” iii). And it turns up in 1951: “Men feel that the imagination is the next greatest power to faith: the reigning prince” (NA 171, LOA 748, my italics). To be sure, Stevens’s phrase, “the reigning prince,” bears watching. A reigning prince is something more than a crown prince, though something less than a reigning king.