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Selected Poems Paperback – February 8, 2011
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This 'Selected Poems' contains much of the Stevens we know from the Anthologies. And it also contains much of the more challenging longer works which I suspect are primarily of interest to literary critics.
The preeminent Stevens critic Helen Vendler in a highly favorable review of this new 'Selected Poems' claims that its one lack is its failure to include non- published poems which show Stevens biographical personal connection to his poetry. But aside from praising highly the critical introduction of the work she finds it of great value in including the challenging, longer works.
Clearly this is a work for all lovers of Stevens poetry. I also recommend it for those who have not known the work of Stevens. They will have the great pleasure of discovering one of the greatest of the modern poets, one who even when his surface meaning escapes us provides a richness of music, a thrilling beauty in suggestiveness which is like no other.
Stevens writes with wit, gaiety, elegance and beauty. He is among the most philosophical of poets. He is a mixture of the realist and the romantic, and one of his major themes is combining the humdrum nature of daily reality, the quotidian, with romance and imagination through poetry. His thought is complex and shifting, but, on this reading, Stevens seemed to me as akin to an idealist who empahsizes the role of the individual mind in creating its reality. Some of the early poems such as "Sunday Morning" are highly meditative, and the abstract, philosophical character of Stevens poetry became more prevalent as he grew older.Read more ›
Simple yet lush, colorful yet elusive -- that's Wallace Stevens in a handful of words. "The Selected Poems by Wallace Stevens" brings together many of his poems from several of his published collections, giving a taste of his evolving work throughout the years -- the weird and the elusively lovely, dense with atmosphere and intense emotion.
Over his lifetime, Stevens wrote several books of poetry, but his exquisite poems are best taken by themselves: the lush grandeur of "Sunday Morning," the hymnlike "Le Monocle De Mon Oncle," the gritty weirdness of "Bantams in Pine-Woods," and the bittersweet farewells of "Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour." He takes multiple looks at "Thirteen Ways of Looking At A Blackbird," and the lush "Six Significant Landscapes" ("A pool shines/Like a bracelet/Shaken in a dance").
In other poems, Stevens dips into outright surrealism, like in the fearful and powerful "Domination of Black" ("I saw how the night came,/Came striding like the color of the heavy hemlocks/I felt afraid/And I remembered the cry of the peacocks..."), and also adds a meditative bent into "The Snow Man" ("For the listener, who listens in the snow,/And, nothing himself, beholds/Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is").
If nothing else, Stevens' poetry can be read just because it is exquisitely beautiful. He lavished details all over almost every poem he wrote, and gave many of them the quality of a dream. His descriptions are simply written, but brilliantly laid out: "When my dream was near the moon,/The white folds of its gown/Filled with yellow light.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am an admirer of WS, and this edition means I can carry his work with mePublished 7 months ago by La Brouchie
Glad to have this book. Great shape and wonderful to read and enjoy time and time again.Published 7 months ago by Elizabeth C. Seeley
A nice selection all in all. Wish there were more from Harmonium.Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
The difficult poems of Wallace Stevens serve as a welcome form of terminal life insurance! This is a very manageable selection.Published on April 11, 2013 by Kieran Quinlan