Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wallace Stevens ( ) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

2 Wallace Stevens ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

3 Wallace Stevens ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

4 Wallace Stevens ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

5 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Images from Stevens’ World: People David Levine’s Stevens

6 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Images from Stevens’ World: People Elsie Stevens

7 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Images from Stevens’ World: People Stevens: Father and Grandfather

8 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Images from Stevens’ World: People Stevens in His Prime

9 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Images from Stevens’ World: People Stevens at the Office

10 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Images from Stevens’ World: People Stevens the Poet

11 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Images from Stevens’ World: People Stevens: The Poet as Old Man

12 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

13 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

14 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

15 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

16 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

17 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

18 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

19 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

20 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

21 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

22 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

23 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

24 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

25 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

26 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

27 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

28 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

29 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

30 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

31 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens Stevens’ Hartford

32 Wallace Stevens, “Adagia” (from Opus Posthumous)  Each age is a pigeon-hole. (157)  Life is an affair of people and not of places. But for me life is an affair of places and that is the trouble. (158)  After one has abandoned a belief in god, poetry is that essence which takes its place as life's redemption. (158)  The imagination wishes to be indulged. (159)  Poetry is not personal. (159)  The real is only the base. But it is the base. (160)  Weather is a sense of nature. Poetry is a sense. (161)  All poetry is experimental poetry. (161)  It is the belief and not the god that counts. (162)  The purpose of poetry is to make life complete in itself. (162)  The final belief is to believe in a fiction, which you know to be a fiction, there being nothing else. The exquisite truth of belief is to know that is a fiction and that you believe in it willingly. (163)  The exquisite environment of fact. The final poem will be the poem of fact in the language of fact. But it will be the poem of fact not realized before. (164) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

33 Wallace Stevens, “Adagia” (from Opus Posthumous)  Each age is a pigeon-hole. (157)  Life is an affair of people and not of places. But for me life is an affair of places and that is the trouble. (158)  After one has abandoned a belief in god, poetry is that essence which takes its place as life's redemption. (158)  The imagination wishes to be indulged. (159)  Poetry is not personal. (159)  The real is only the base. But it is the base. (160)  Weather is a sense of nature. Poetry is a sense. (161)  All poetry is experimental poetry. (161)  It is the belief and not the god that counts. (162)  The purpose of poetry is to make life complete in itself. (162)  The final belief is to believe in a fiction, which you know to be a fiction, there being nothing else. The exquisite truth of belief is to know that it is a fiction and that you believe in it willingly. (163)  The exquisite environment of fact. The final poem will be the poem of fact in the language of fact. But it will be the poem of fact not realized before. (164)  We live in the mind. (164) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

34 Wallace Stevens, “Adagia” (from Opus Posthumous)  Money is a kind of poetry. (165)  It is not every day that the world arranges itself in a poem. (165)  The death of one god is the death of all. (165)  In the presence of extraordinary actuality, consciousness takes the place of imagination. (165)  A poet looks at the world as a man looks at a woman. (165)  Perhaps there is a degree of perception at which what is real and what is imagined are one: a state of clairvoyant observation, accessible or possibly accessible to the poet or, say, the acutest poet. (166)  Realism is a corruption of reality. (166)  I don't think we should insist that the poet is normal or, for that matter, that anybody is. (166)  When one is young everything is physical; when one is old everything is psychic. (167)  The tongue is an eye. (167) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

35 Wallace Stevens, “Adagia” (from Opus Posthumous)  Money is a kind of poetry. (165)  It is not every day that the world arranges itself in a poem. (165)  The death of one god is the death of all. (165)  In the presence of extraordinary actuality, consciousness takes the place of imagination. (165)  A poet looks at the world as a man looks at a woman. (165)  Perhaps there is a degree of perception at which what is real and what is imagined are one: a state of clairvoyant observation, accessible or possibly accessible to the poet or, say, the acutest poet. (166)  Realism is a corruption of reality. (166)  I don't think we should insist that the poet is normal or, for that matter, that anybody is. (166)  When one is young everything is physical; when one is old everything is psychic. (167)  The tongue is an eye. (167)  When the mind is like a hall in which thought is like a voice speaking, the voice is always that of someone else. (168) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

36 Wallace Stevens, “Adagia” (from Opus Posthumous)  The body is the great poem. (168)  Poetry must resist the intelligence almost successfully. (171)  Eventually an imaginary world is entirely without interest. (175)  I have no life except in poetry. No doubt that would be true if my whole life was free for poetry. (175)  There is a nature that absorbs the mixedness of metaphors. (176)  There is nothing in the world greater than reality. In this predicament we have to accept reality itself as the only genius. (177)  Reality is a cliché from which we escape by metaphor. (179)  Imagination is the only genius. (179)  In the long run the truth does not matter. (180) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

37 Wallace Stevens, “Adagia” (from Opus Posthumous)  The body is the great poem. (168)  Poetry must resist the intelligence almost successfully. (171)  Eventually an imaginary world is entirely without interest. (175)  I have no life except in poetry. No doubt that would be true if my whole life was free for poetry. (175)  There is a nature that absorbs the mixedness of metaphors. (176)  There is nothing in the world greater than reality. In this predicament we have to accept reality itself as the only genius. (177)  Reality is a cliché from which we escape by metaphor. (179)  Imagination is the only genius. (179)  In the long run the truth does not matter. (180) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

38 Wallace Stevens The acute intelligence of the imagination, the illimitable resources of its memory, its power to possess the moment it perceives--if we were speaking of light itself, and thinking of the relationship between objects and light, no further demonstration would be necessary. Like light, it adds nothing, except itself. Wallace Stevens, The Necessary Angel ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

39 Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man” One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time To behold the junipers shagged with ice, The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun; and not to think Of any misery in the sound of the wind, In the sound of a few leaves, Which is the sound of the land Full of the same wind That is blowing in the same bare place For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

40 Wallace Stevens, “The Emperor of Ice Cream” Call the roller of big cigars, The muscular one, and bid him whip In kitchen cups concupiscent curds. Let the wenches dawdle in such dress As they are used to wear, and let the boys Bring flowers in last month's newspapers. Let be be finale of seem. The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream. Take from the dresser of deal. Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet On which she embroidered fantails once And spread it so as to cover her face. If her horny feet protrude, they come To show how cold she is, and dumb. Let the lamp affix its beam. The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

41 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (74) I Among twenty snowy mountains, The only moving thing Was the eye of the black bird. December 1917 Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens

42 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird II I was of three minds, Like a tree In which there are three blackbirds. Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens

43 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird III The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds. It was a small part of the pantomime. Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens

44 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird IV A man and a woman Are one. A man and a woman and a blackbird Are one. Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens

45 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird V I do not know which to prefer, The beauty of inflections Or the beauty of innuendoes, The blackbird whistling Or just after. Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens

46 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird VI Icicles filled the long window With barbaric glass. The shadow of the blackbird Crossed it, to and fro. The mood Traced in the shadow An indecipherable cause. Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens

47 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird VII O thin men of Haddam, Why do you imagine golden birds? Do you not see how the blackbird Walks around the feet Of the women about you? Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens

48 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird VIII I know noble accents And lucid, inescapable rhythms; But I know, too, That the blackbird is involved In what I know. Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens

49 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird IX When the blackbird flew out of sight, It marked the edge Of one of many circles. Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens

50 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird X At the sight of blackbirds Flying in a green light, Even the bawds of euphony Would cry out sharply. Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens

51 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird XI He rode over Connecticut In a glass coach. Once, a fear pierced him, In that he mistook The shadow of his equipage For blackbirds. Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens

52 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird XII The river is moving. The blackbird must be flying. Major American Writers: Wallace Stevens

53 Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird XIII It was evening all afternoon. It was snowing And it was going to snow. The blackbird sat In the cedar-limbs.

54 Wallace Stevens, “Sunday Morning” I Complacencies of the peignoir, and late Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair, And the green freedom of a cockatoo Upon a rug mingle to dissipate The holy hush of ancient sacrifice. She dreams a little, and she feels the dark Encroachment of that old catastrophe, As a calm darkness among water-lights. The pungent oranges and bright, green wings Seem things in some procession of the dead, Winding across wide water, without sound. The day is like wide water, without sound, Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet Over the seas, to silent Palestine, Dominion of the blood and sepulchre. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

55 Wallace Stevens, “Sunday Morning” II Why should she give her bounty to the dead? What is divinity if it can come Only in silent shadows and in dreams? Shall she not find in comforts of the sun, In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else In any balm or beauty of the earth, Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven? Divinity must live within herself: Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow; Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued Elations when the forest blooms; gusty Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights; All pleasures and all pains, remembering The bough of summer and the winter branch. These are the measures destined for her soul. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

56 Wallace Stevens, “Sunday Morning” III Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth. No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind. He moved among us, as a muttering king, Magnificent, would move among his hinds, Until our blood, commingling, virginal, With heaven, brought such requital to desire The very hinds discerned it, in a star. Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to be The blood of paradise? And shall the earth Seem all of paradise that we shall know? The sky will be much friendlier then than now, A part of labor and a part of pain, And next in glory to enduring love, Not this dividing and indifferent blue. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

57 Wallace Stevens, “Sunday Morning” IV She says, "I am content when wakened birds, Before they fly, test the reality Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings; But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields Return no more, where, then, is paradise?'' There is not any haunt of prophecy, Nor any old chimera of the grave, Neither the golden underground, nor isle Melodious, where spirits gat them home, Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm Remote on heaven's hill, that has endured As April's green endures; or will endure Like her remembrance of awakened birds, Or her desire for June and evenings, tipped By the consummation of the swallow's wings. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

58 Wallace Stevens, “Sunday Morning” V She says, "But in contentment I still feel The need of some imperishable bliss.'' Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her, Alone, shall come fulfilment to our dreams And our desires. Although she strews the leaves Of sure obliteration on our paths, The path sick sorrow took, the many paths Where triumph rang its brassy phrase, or love Whispered a little out of tenderness, She makes the willow shiver in the sun For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet. She causes boys to pile new plums and pears On disregarded plate. The maidens taste And stray impassioned in the littering leaves. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

59 Wallace Stevens, “Sunday Morning” VI Is there no change of death in paradise? Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs Hang always heavy in that perfect sky, Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth, With rivers like our own that seek for seas They never find, the same receding shores That never touch with inarticulate pang? Why set the pear upon those river-banks Or spice the shores with odors of the plum? Alas, that they should wear our colors there, The silken weavings of our afternoons, And pick the strings of our insipid lutes! Death is the mother of beauty, mystical, Within whose burning bosom we devise Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

60 Wallace Stevens, “Sunday Morning” VII Supple and turbulent, a ring of men Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn Their boisterous devotion to the sun, Not as a god, but as a god might be, Naked among them, like a savage source. Their chant shall be a chant of paradise, Out of their blood, returning to the sky; And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice, The windy lake wherein their lord delights, The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills, That choir among themselves long afterward. They shall know well the heavenly fellowship Of men that perish and of summer morn. And whence they came and whither they shall go The dew upon their feet shall manifest. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

61 Wallace Stevens, “Sunday Morning” VIII She hears, upon that water without sound, A voice that cries, "The tomb in Palestine Is not the porch of spirits lingering. It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.'' We live in an old chaos of the sun, Or an old dependency of day and night, Or island solitude, unsponsored, free, Of that wide water, inescapable. Deer walk upon our mountains, and quail Whistle about us their spontaneous cries; Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness; And, in the isolation of the sky, At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make Ambiguous undulations as they sink, Downward to darkness, on extended wings. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

62 Wallace Stevens, “To the One of Fictive Music” Sister and mother and diviner love, And of the sisterhood of the living dead Most near, most clear, and of the clearest bloom, And of the fragrant mothers the most dear And queen, and of diviner love the day And flame and summer and sweet fire, no thread Of cloudy silver sprinkles in your gown Its venom of renown, and on your head No crown is simpler than the simple hair. Now, of the music summoned by the birth That separates us from the wind and sea, Yet leaves us in them, until earth becomes, By being so much of the things we are, Gross effigy and simulacrum, none Gives motion to perfection more serene Than yours, out of our own imperfections wrought, Most rare, or ever of more kindred air In the laborious weaving that you wear. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

63 Wallace Stevens, “To the One of Fictive Music” For so retentive of themselves are men That music is intensest which proclaims The near, the clear, and vaunts the clearest bloom, And of all the vigils musing the obscure, That apprehends the most which sees and names, As in your name, an image that is sure, Amoung the arrant spices of the sun, O bough and bush and scented vine, in whom We give ourselves our likest issuance. Yet not too like, yet not so like to be Too near, too clear, saving a little to endow Our feigning with the strange unlike, whence springs The difference that heavenly pity brings. For this, musician, in your girdle fixed Bear other perfumes. On your pale head wear A band entwining, set with fatal stones. Unreal, give back to us what once you gave: The imagination that we spurned and crave. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

64 Wallace Stevens, “The Idea of Order at Key West” She sang beyond the genius of the sea. The water never formed to mind or voice, Like a body wholly body, fluttering Its empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motion Made constant cry, caused constantly a cry, That was not ours although we understood, Inhuman, of the veritable ocean. The sea was not a mask. No more was she. The song and water were not medleyed sound Even if what she sang was what she heard. Since what she sang was uttered word by word. It may be that in all her phrases stirred The grinding water and the gasping wind; But it was she and not the sea we heard. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

65 Wallace Stevens, “The Idea of Order at Key West” For she was the maker of the song she sang. The ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea Was merely a place by which she walked to sing. Whose spirit is this? we said, because we knew It was the spirit that we sought and knew That we should ask this often as she sang. If it was only the dark voice of the sea That rose, or even colored by many waves; If it was only the outer voice of sky And cloud, of the sunken coral water-walled, However clear, it would have been deep air, The heaving speech of air, a summer sound Repeated in a summer without end And sound alone. But it was more than that, More even than her voice, and ours, among The meaningless plungings of water and the wind, Theatrical distances, bronze shadows heaped On high horizons, mountainous atmospheres Of sky and sea. It was her voice that made The sky acutest at its vanishing. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

66 Wallace Stevens, “The Idea of Order at Key West” She measured to the hour its solitude. She was the single artificer of the world In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea, Whatever self it had, became the self That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we, As we beheld her striding there alone, Knew that there never was a world for her Except the one she sang and, singing, made. 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, As night descended, tilting in the air, Mastered the night and portioned out the sea, Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles, Arranging, deepening, enchanting night. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

67 Wallace Stevens, “The Idea of Order at Key West” Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon, The maker's rage to order words of the sea, Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred, And of ourselves and of our origins, In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

68 Wallace Stevens, “The World as Meditation” Jai passé trop de temps á travailler mon violon, á voyager. Mais l’exercice essential du compositeur—la meditation—rien ne l’a jamais suspendu rn moi... Je vis un reve permanent, qui ne s’arrivéte ni nuit ni jour. George Enesco It is Ulysses that approaches from the east, The interminable adventurer? The trees are mended. That winter is washed away. Someone is moving On the horizon and lifting himself up above it. A form of fire approaches the cretonnes of Penelope, Whose mere savage presence awakens the world in which she dwells. She has composed, so long, a self with which to welcome him, Companion to his self for her, which she imagined, Two in a deep-founded sheltering, friend and dear friend. The trees had been mended, as an essential exercise In an inhuman meditation, larger than her own. No winds like dogs watched over her at night. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

69 The World as Meditation (ctd.) She wanted nothing he could not bring her by coming alone. She wanted no fetchings. His arms would be her necklace And her belt, the final fortune of their desire. But was it Ulysses? Or was it only the warmth of the sun On her pillow? The thought kept beating in her like her heart. The two kept beating together. It was only day. It was Ulysses and it was not. Yet they had met, Friend and dear friend and a planet's encouragement. The barbarous strength within her would never fail. Wallace Stevens, “The World as Meditation” ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

70 Wallace Stevens, “A Quiet Normal Life” His place, as he sat and as he thought, was not In anything that he constructed, so frail, So barely lit, so shadowed over and naught, As, for example, a world in which, like snow, He became an inhabitant, obedient To gallant notions on the part of cold. It was here. This was the setting and the time Of year. Here in his house and in his room, In his chair, the most tranquil thought grew peaked And the oldest and the warmest heart was cut By gallant notions on the part of night— Both late and alone, above the crickets’ chords, Babbling, each one, the uniqueness of its sound. There was no fury in transcendent forms. But his actual candle blazed with artifice. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

71 Wallace Stevens, “Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour” Light the first light of evening In which we rest and, for small reason, think The world imagined is the ultimate good. This is, therefore, the intensest rendezvous. It is in that thought that we collect ourselves, Out of all the indifferences, into one thing: Within a single thing, a single shawl Wrapped tightly round us, since we are poor, a warmth, A light, a power, the miraculous influence. Here, now, we forget each other and ourselves. We feel the obscurity of an order, a whole, A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous. ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

72 Within its vital boundary, in the mind. We say God and the imagination are one... How high that highest candle lights the dark. Out of this same light, out of the central mind, We make a dwelling in the evening air, In which being there together is enough. Wallace Stevens, “Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour” ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry

73 Ariel was glad he had written his poems. They were of a remembered time Or of something seen that he liked. Other makings of the sun Were waste and welter And the ripe shrub writhed. His self and the sun were one And his poems, although makings of his self, Were no less makings of the sun. It was not important that they survive. What mattered was that they should bear Some lineament or character, Some affluence, if only half-perceived, In the poverty of their words, Of the planet of which they were part. Wallace Stevens, “The Planet on the Table” ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry


Download ppt "Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) ENGL 3370: Modern American Poetry."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google