Long unavailable, now in paperback for the first time, these are the brilliant, subtle, illuminating letters of one of the great poets of the twentieth century. Stevens's famous criterion for poetry"It should give pleasure"informed his epistolary aesthetic as well; these letters stimulate one's appetite for poetry as they valorize the imagination and the senses. They also offer fascinating glimpses of Stevens as family man, insurance executive, connoisseur, and friend.
FROM THE BOOK:"Next to the passion flower I love fuchsias, and no kidding. . . . Down among the Pennsylvania Germans there was a race of young men . . . who carved willow fans. These men would take a bit of willow stick about a foot long, peel it and with nothing more than a jackknife carve it into something that looked like a souvenir of Queen Anne's lingerie. The trouble that someone took to invent fuchsias makes me think of these willow fans. However it is a dark and dreary day today and who am I to be frivolous under such circumstances."from a letter to Wilson Taylor, August 20, 1947