More than any other modern poet, Stevens was concerned with the transformative power of the imagination. The ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea Was merely a place by which she walked to sing. For Stevens, the great project of poetry is to transform private vision the vision of the poet into a public vision the vision of his readers and the world around him. In the poem, the power of human imagination, which always strives for order and organization, brings out the order in nature. Stevens's obituary in the local newspaper was minimal at the request of the family as to the details of his death. I believe that, in any society, the poet should be the exponent of the imagination of that society.
His wife insisted on trying to attend to him as he recovered but she had suffered a stroke in the previous winter and she was not able to assist as she had hoped. Two more books of his poetry were produced during the 1920s and 1930s and three more in the 1940s. Is it the spirit of the poet observing these forces? After settling into the legal department of the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company in 1916, Stevens rose to the vice presidency. Again, he poses a question that goes unanswered. And it's all thanks to one man. His thoughts and language become his instruments that craft the poem. The title and first stanza give us some pretty specific information that will be helpful to keep in mind once Stevens pulls the training wheels off in the subsequent stanzas.
Of all these agents, the agent receiving the primary attention is the female singer. As the poem shifts away from the singer, the poet-speaker challenges philosopher Ramon Fernandez to explain another enigma — how light orders and arranges something so vast and insuperable as darkness. In a later poem, Stevens claims that the search for reality is as important as the search for God; perhaps he is implying here that if he can discern whose spirit is animating the woman and the sea, he can begin to know not only the mysteries of human imagination and perception but also the mysteries of God as well. As Stevens puts it in a famous late poem, the poet gives us ideas about the thing, not the thing itself. Stevens is a pagan who does not believe in traditional religions. The two men argued, and Frost reported that Stevens had been drunk and acted inappropriately. I am the angel of reality, seen for a moment standing in the door.
Please also protect my order with The Paper Store Enterprises, Inc. United States and Cuban relations remain tense as Castro insists the still faltering Cuban economy is a result of the strict U. Stevens associates music with both emotion and motion, and he associates all three with poetry and with the harmonies and cacophonies of human desire. Rather than depicting the power of poetry over Nature, the poem depicts the power of the sum of perceptual experiences created by human and nonhuman components in the speaker, whose main role in the poem may be summarized as that of creative listener. Stevens desired both to write poems and reach a large number of people—two potentially mutually exclusive desires since few Americans read poetry. The paintings are by contemporary artists. Stevens attended Harvard as a non-degree special student, after which he moved to New York City and briefly worked as a journalist.
Things Merely Are: Philosophy in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens. Everything stands in relation to everything else. What makes this an amazing poem is his ability to represent inhuman moments in human terms. For most of the poem Stevens paints a picture of an ocean that is both enchanting and mysterious at the same time. Perhaps what Stevens is saying is that a new music is needed, a new poetry that connects human desire with actual humans. If you have, this is the poem for you. His third and final period of writing poems occurred with the publication of The Auroras of Autumn in the early 1950s followed by the release of his Collected Poems in 1954 a year before his death.
If it is successful, it turns them away from the singer Stevens and even the song the poem and directs their attention toward their own reaction to reading the poem and thinking about how it affects them. This is the somewhat miraculous process of artistic creation which the poem is interested in exploring: where does the sound of nature end and creative human speech begin? Yet most of Stevenss readers will know that Fernandez was a critic familiar to Stevens from the pages of the Nouvelle revue française, the Partisan Review, and the Criterion where he was translated by T. Additionally, it should be noted that for Stevens, poetry is not merely, lines, symbols, rhymes, and words but a metaphor for perception and connection. Neither does the listener try to order the world. While few would question these basic facts of the poem, the debate takes place around what Stevens thinks of the song and what kind of epiphany he experiences.
Disdaining American dependence on cars, he began a lifelong habit of walks that took him as far as Greenwich, Connecticut. Here's to hoping I never fully understand this poem. While readers never see the female singer or actually hear what it is the woman is singing, they experience what the speaker of the poem experiences: transformation. This difference--the juxtaposition and interface between before and after--is more significant than any element of the experience. The singer does not try to order the world.
The poetic project does not exist in the private world of the singer or poet but in the public lives of other people. Burney, William, Wallace Stevens, Twayne, 1968. Whatever Nietzsche would have thought of the Canoe Club and its cuisine, he would have appreciated the rest of the letter, which excoriates a world in which the weak affect to be strong and the strong keep silence, in which group living has all but eliminated men of character. For good reason, Stevens repeats the title image in lines 8 and 16. Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2013. The sea is in the place which she has chosen for singing.
The idea that the poet is a kind of facilitator is fairly new for Stevens in the 1930s. She brings order in the disordered world. It does not follow that major man is man. In the third stanza, the poem begins to respond to the questions that Stevens set out to address. Many of his canonical works were written well after he turned 50.
People must be able to feel his poems. Wallace Stevens and the Demands of Modernity: Toward a Phenomenology of Value. Of course, a hard and fast answer will never come, but the speaker and Stevens know that the great joy and energy of being alive come from asking these very questions. If you think your submission was mistakenly filtered, or if you have a question about the posting policy, feel free to. The Stevens of Harmonium would have ended the poem after the fifth stanza, just a few more lines after the above quote, but the Stevens of 1934 adds two, somewhat puzzling stanzas, the most notable aspect of which shows Stevens turning not inward but outward: Ramon Fernandez, tell me if you know, Why, when the singing ended and we turned Toward the town, tell why the glassy lights, The lights in the fishing boats at anchor there, The temptation is to remain, like the woman and like Hoon, in solitude, but Stevens and his companion do not turn away toward the sea where order may be found but toward the town, toward civilization, toward humanity. On June 20 he returned to his home at Westerly Terrace and insisted on working for limited hours. As a poet, Wallace Stevens believed that poetry should be similar to a work of art.