Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Have it your way, kid ...
The Plain Sense of Things. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.) Throughout every year I read Stevens's Collected Poems. I find this piece dessicated, like chewing on cardboard. "Stevens’s poetry oscillates, throughout his life, between verbal ebullience and New England spareness ..." Stevens was a Pennsylvanian. He didn't have to go to New England to learn spareness. Holly Stevens notwithstanding, I believe the story of Stevens's conversion. He was known to spend long periods of time in St. Patrick's Cathedral whenever he visited New York. The priest claimed to have simply gone along with Stevens's own wish for confidentiality - that reticence Vendler mentions. And the Collected Poems reads, to me at least, as an account of a journey toward faith. The picture is interesting. Didn't realize Frost was so small - or Stevens so big.
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