Presentation on theme: "Wallace Stevens And H. D. (Hilda Doolittle) Modern Poetry."— Presentation transcript:
Wallace Stevens And H. D. (Hilda Doolittle) Modern Poetry
Before you watch this power point, be sure that you have watched the one on modernism that develops a discussion of Frost's “Birches”.
Modernism in Stevens & H.D. In the two poems we are considering, “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” and “Oread” the poems Present an image Create a “reality” or truth in the image Evoke individual responses in the readers
Do not worry that you cannot “explain” the poems. That is not their point! You have NOT missed something.
How To Read Them Stop trying to understand them. Just read the words, let the images appear in your mind, and the “truth” is created in the relationship between the poem and your mind. It sounds weird, but these are images in words, so it's more like looking at a picture and having an emotional response.
What do they mean? The poems can not mean absolutely anything. (There are some things NOT in either poem, like airplanes, grocery stores, and elephants... obviously.) Yet, the “truth” or reality that is created is a personal one in each reader.
Read the Poems As we read, Consider what words the poet uses Consider what words and sounds are put next to each other and why How does each word choice make you feel? What pictures do the words draw in your mind?
Stevens Stevens's poetry reflects his belief that reality is at least partially created by the individual. A singer, poet, or artist creates a reality in his words or images.
Do you agree? Reflect on someplace in nature you have visited with other people (beach, woods, mountains). The “reality” of the place is the same (same trees, water, whatever). The “reality” to each is also different One fears water; another enjoys the sand One loves woods; another hates bugs One loves mountain views; another fears being lost
13 Ways of Looking... The 13 ways reflect these different “realities” There are 13 different visions Some of the stanzas also talk about how one knows Three blackbirds are of 3 minds (II) Reality is present in the man and woman, AND in the man, woman and bird (IV)
Stanza IX with the blackbird flying out of sight This can mean that as the bird leaves his sight, he leaves the circle of what the watcher sees/knows This means that the watcher knows he doesn't know everything. Reality for each person is limited
These “messages” in the lines are about poetry. Each poem can create a reality for each reader, and the realities can all be different. The EXPERIENCE of reading the poem is also enough. You have seen 13 different ways of experiencing a blackbird. There is more than one “real” bird.
Now to H.D.'s “Oread”.
H. D. is doing what Stevens was talking about (and doing).
Oread Whirl up, sea – whirl your pointed pines, splash your great pines on our rocks, hurl your green over us, cover us with your pools of fir.
As far as I can tell, H.D. is true to her imagist aims. She does not seem to be talking about poetry, or anything else. She is just giving us the image of the sea of pines and rocks and fir trees.
Oread Perhaps best introduces us to the experience of pure modern poetry. Just read the poem and respond to it. The response is in images in your mind and how you feel. What do you see? How do you feel? Do you see a forest or ocean? Is it peaceful?
Your Assignment This post is for Frost, Stevens and H.D. Frost is on the edge of modernism. He responds to some of the same issues, but Stevens and H.D. really move us into the sense that truth and reality are no longer something outside us. In your post, contrast one of the Frost poems with Stevens and H.D. (see next slide).
Assignment helps Think about how Frost clearly presents an issue and discusses possible answers (whether to build the wall or not, why it can be nice to get away from the rat race and have transcendent inspiration). Is there a transcendent reality in Stevens or H.D.? (answer: no, but show it through the poetry) For Stevens and H.D. reality and truth are found in the individual.
Do you agree? Yes and no? It is not that there is NO external truth for H.D. or Stevens. Instead it is that reality is shaped by each person's vision and experience. How do you feel about this vision that reality is shaped by the individual? Include a brief reflection with your contrast. Posts are due July 18 (Sunday night).