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Quasi-unintelligibility (Coda) May 3, 2013: “I have the greatest dislike for explanations,” an emphatic Stevens once wrote to Ronald Lane Latimer, the pseudonymous editor of Alcestis Press, a small and short-lived leftist publishing outfit [...] by

Quasi-unintelligibility (Part 5) April 30, 2013: To repeat: Stevens’s “Man Carrying Thing” kicks off with a clear-cut statement about what a poem “must” do, i.e., “resist the intelligence / Almost successfully.” But the statement [...] by

Quasi-unintelligibility (Part 4) April 25, 2013: Less than a decade after Stevens’s “Man Carrying Thing” first appeared in Yale Review, its first sentence had become so useful and succinct an apology for his more challenging work, it would [...] by

Quasi-unintelligibilty (Part 3) April 19, 2013: After having wandered somewhat far from the discussion of quasi-unintelligibility in my last post I thought it might be a good idea to revisit the topic before moving forward. I had set out last week [...] by

Quasi-unintelligibility (Part 2) April 11, 2013: I mentioned in my previous post that I would consider more closely Wallace Stevens’s “Man Carrying Thing” in my next post, and that means now. You can read the poem here. Let me tell you what I [...] by

Quasi-unintelligibility (Part 1) April 10, 2013: Seven years ago this month Helen Vendler published one of my favorite of her books, Poets Thinking. In particular I love its chapter on Alexander Pope, which starts off by recounting the frustration [...] by