Saturday, 1 of November of 2014

Wallace Stevens – The Planet On The Table

From Wiki: Wallace Stevens (October 2, 1879 – August 2, 1955) was an American Modernist poet. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, educated at Harvard and then New York Law School, and spent most of his life working as a lawyer for the Hartford insurance company in Connecticut.

…The influence of Key West upon Stevens’s poetry is evident in many of the poems published in his first two collections, Harmonium and Ideas of Order.

In February 1935, Stevens encountered the poet Robert Frost at the Casa Marina. The two men argued, and Frost reported that Stevens had been drunk and acted inappropriately.

The following year, Stevens allegedly assaulted Ernest Hemingway at a party at the Waddell Avenue home of a mutual acquaintance in Key West.

Stevens broke his hand, apparently from hitting Hemingway’s jaw, and was repeatedly knocked to the street by Hemingway. Stevens later apologized.

In 1940, Stevens made his final trip to Key West. Frost was at the Casa Marina again, and again the two men argued.

…Many poets—James Merrill and Donald Justice most explicitly—have acknowledged Stevens as a major influence on their work, and his impact may also be seen in John Ashbery, Mark Strand, Jorie Graham, John Hollander, and others.

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.

Thirteen Days of Looking at a Hummingbird from Jonathan VanBallenberghe on Vimeo.


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