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  • Voices & Visions: Wallace Stevens (Poet) [VHS]
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Voices & Visions: Wallace Stevens (Poet) [VHS]

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Editorial Reviews


Late in this video biography, one of Wallace Stevens's admirers sums up his appeal (or depending on your opinion, his lack thereof) by calling his poetry difficult, complex, and abstract. Even some of the titles of poems read in this 56-minute tape, such as "The Idea of Order at Key West" and "Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction" hint at the challenge to follow. Apart from noting his mild attempt at a journalism career and his success as an insurance executive, little of Steven's personal life or influences are revealed here. Instead, a bevy of fellow poets, critics, and a biographer explain and praise his work. His fascination with Florida, painters (particularly Paul Clay and Cezanne), and the relationship between words and the physical nature are discussed. As David Merrill reads several of Stevens's poems, they are illustrated by photographs or video footage, with the notable exception of "The Auroras of Autumn," read to the arresting background of visual, moving art. --Kimberly Heinrichs

From the Back Cover

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) pursued very separate dual lives as an insurance executive and a poet. This melancholy existentialist found meaning and solace in the landscapes he visited; in the weather he saw the conditions of the soul. Secretive and unhappily married, he transformed reality through his imagination, producing both comic and meditative poems. Commentators include Harold Bloom, Joan Richardson and James Merrill.

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