From Publishers Weekly
The third in a series of handsomely designed publications of Selected
volumes by major poets (following books by James Merrill and Frank O'Hara), this new selection from the whole of Stevens's career should bring this major poet's work to the attention of a new generation. Stevens is arguably the strangest of the High Modern poets, the most difficult to classify. While he partook of classical allusions and nods to American speech like his contemporaries, his poems take place in a world that is thoroughly his own, where a jar placed on the ground made the slovenly wilderness/ Surround that hill and Florida is a place where a woman sings by the sea such that it becomes merely a place by which she walked to sing. Eminent Stevens scholar Serio presents Stevens's well-known favorites (The Emperor of Ice-Cream) as well as lesser-known texts, such as Someone Puts a Pineapple Together, hidden in the poet's only volume of prose. As this volume shows, we are still catching up to the force and individuality of Stevens's imagination, and perhaps we never will. (Aug.)
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“Far more than Eliot or Pound, Stevens wished passionately to be above all a poet of twentieth-century America and its American English; and he had the luck, as they did not, to write with increasing genius to the end of his life.” —Helen Vendler, The New York Times Book Review