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Wallace Stevens

I think then that the first thing that a poet should do as he comes out of his cavern is to put on the strength of his particular calling as a poet, to address himself to what Rilke called the mighty burden of poetry and to have the courage to say that, in his sense… Continue reading Wallace Stevens

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American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Excerpt · Fragment · Modernism · Passage · Poetry

Wallace Stevens

He was a shell of dark blue glass, or ice, Or air collected in a deep essay, Or light embodied, or almost, a flash On more than muscular shoulders, arms and chest, Blue’s last transparence as it turned to black. — Wallace Stevens, from “Chicorua to Its Neighbor,” The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens (Vintage,… Continue reading Wallace Stevens

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American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Excerpt · Modernism · Passage · Poetry

Wallace Stevens

I measure myself Against a tall tree. I find that I am much taller. For I reach right up to the sun, With my eye; And I reach to the shore of the sea With my ear. Nevertheless, I dislike The way the ants crawl In and out of my shadow. —Wallace Stevens, section III… Continue reading Wallace Stevens

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Modernism · Poetry

Wallace Stevens

First Girl When this yokel comes maundering, Whetting his hacker, I shall run before him, Diffusing the civilest odors Out of geraniums and unsmelled flowers. It will check him. Second Girl I shall run before him, Arching cloths besprinkled with colors As small as fish-eggs. The threads Will abash him. Third Girl Oh, la…le pauvre!… Continue reading Wallace Stevens

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American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Modernism · Poetry

Wallace Stevens

The Plain Sense of Things After the leaves have fallen, we return To a plain sense of things. It is as if We had come to an end of the imagination, Inanimate in an inert savoir. It is difficult even to choose the adjective For this blank cold, this sadness without cause. The great structure… Continue reading Wallace Stevens

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Excerpt · Modernism · Passage · Poetry

Wallace Stevens

The poem refreshes life so that we share, For a moment, the first idea … It satisfies Belief in an immaculate beginning And sends us, winged by an unconscious will, To an immaculate end. We move between these points: From that ever-early candor to its late plural And the candor of them is the strong… Continue reading Wallace Stevens

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