A short selection of poems by Wallace Stevens as recommended to me by Alexandria Digital Literature:

  • “The Idea of Order at Key West”–The words are interesting, but I missed the concept of the whole. It didn’t have the cleverness that I want in a poem.
  • “The American Sublime”–Better, but too short. Makes one wonder at the true meaning of sublime, though.
  • “Peter Quince at the Clavier”–Woo! What an interesting way to describe a horrific scene (a rape). This is the kind of poetry I like, where words seem nice and safe, but mean much darker things.
  • “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”–Like a series of 13 photos, each a separate scene and the trick is finding how they join together, but here you know what joins the scenes, so you next picture what makes them different. The individual stanzas are as short as haiku, and contain the same type of strong image associations. Worth re-reading time and again.

[Finished 13 March 1998]


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