By Eleanor Cook
Wallace Stevens is without doubt one of the significant poets of the 20 th century, and likewise one of the such a lot not easy. His poems could be awesome 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 matters. even though his paintings is renowned and his readership keeps to develop, many readers encountering it are baffled by way of such wealthy and unusual poetry.
Eleanor prepare dinner, a number one critic of poetry and professional on Stevens, offers us the following the basic 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 be aware and a chain of annotations on tricky words and references, illuminating for us simply why and the way Stevens used to be a grasp at his paintings. Her annotations, which come with either formerly unpublished scholarship and interpretive comments, will profit novices and experts alike. cook dinner additionally presents a short biography of Stevens, and provides an in depth appendix on easy methods to learn smooth poetry.
A Reader's advisor to Wallace Stevens is an quintessential source and the right spouse to The accrued 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: gathered Poetry and Prose.
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Additional resources for A Reader's Guide to Wallace Stevens
How explicit the coiffures”: “explicit” also in the etymological sense of “unfolded,” as in “explicate”; on the use of hair styles, including “coiffures,” see “Le Monocle de Mon Oncle” iii, below. The Load of Sugar-Cane Poetry 19 (Oct. 1921); see note on “The Snow Man,” above; CP 12, LOA 10. A one-sentence poem of ﬂowing water and ﬂuent syntax, using skilled repetition with parallel phrases and clauses. The effect slows down time, and sharpens sensuous effects in this vivid little sketch, set in sugar-cane country.
The people are fooled and yet not fooled. Individuals are skeptical, but in a crowd they accept what the crowd appears to believe. In 1946, Stevens was asked to identify the major problems facing the writer in the United States. ” The poet must “maintain his freedom,” as all individuals should (OP 311, LOA 814). ” But: “Here is its actual stone” (MBG xxxiii). ” asked Jesus. He also said: “Man shall not live by bread alone,” when offered the chance to convert stones to bread. Bread and stone turn up together in different stories, well worth pondering in times like the thirties.
The way through the world / Is more difﬁcult to ﬁnd than the way beyond it,” he wrote in 1950 (“Reply to Papini”). Nor was he interested in idealizing the poet as guide through the world. ). Stevens also wrote of war. How could he not? ” Only a few of its parts pleased him enough to collect, the best being retitled “Death of a Soldier” and shorn of its epigraph. Poems meditating on war continued, through the Spanish Civil War (“The Men That Are Falling”) to World War II. ” Though uneven and sometimes cramped, it includes some of Stevens’s best work; its meditative, indirect approach to war is the one most congenial to Stevens.