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Posts Tagged ‘Wallace Stevens’

‘This is Gene Derwood speaking’ April 16, 2014: [caption id="attachment_85131" align="alignright" width="500"] Flyleaf of New Poems 1940 signed by editor and several contributors.[/caption] It’s still going at a reduced scale down on 24th Street at Folsom, but Adobe Books used to be a barn of a store on 16th Street in the Mission District of San Francisco, and to my mind the epicenter of a [...] by

Is It Work? April 15, 2014: A neighbor famously called Robert Frost the laziest man in the world, not just because he sat on the porch all day staring at nature like it was television, but also because he was constantly falling asleep in snowdrifts in the woods and letting hired men die poetically on his hearth instead of calling an ambulance to come pick them up. "He [...] by

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 in New York City back in the 1930s. “As soon as people are perfectly sure of a poem they are just as likely as not to have no further interest in [...] 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 itself, which is part of a poem, presents no resistance to the intelligence at all—its meaning is “obvious,” to recycle a word from the poem’s [...] 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 even show up in his New York Times obituary, which ran on August 3, 1955, the day after he died of stomach cancer in Hartford’s St. Francis [...] by

The Poetry of Our Youth April 25, 2013: Why can’t I hear the music of my youth with objectivity? I really don’t know if The Unforgettable Fire is a great album or not because I loved U2 so ardently in high school that the profound and sticky wistfulness of unfulfilled teenage desire roars back to life at each listening. Of course, many songs I still like from that time I know [...] 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 to enumerate as straightforwardly as possible some of the elements of Stevens’s “Man Carrying Thing” that appealed to me on rereading it for [...] 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 like about it. (1) I like the poem’s first sentence and how it’s lineated: “The poem must resist the intelligence / Almost [...] by

Jeffrey Yang Leads Us into the Abyss March 20, 2013: [caption id="attachment_62944" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Yves Klein in the Void Room (Raum der Leere), Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, January 1961.[/caption] “I used to keep a list of books in which ‘the abyss’ appeared — the [...] by

Early Wallace Stevens Poetry at The Harvard Advocate Blog November 26, 2012: The Harvard Advocate blog is reaching back into their archives and serving up some early poetical works by Wallace Stevens. To put things in context, they write: Stevens’ first book of poetry, Harmonium, was published when he was forty-four; scholars tend to agree that he completed his greatest works relatively late in his career. But [...] by