Born in Pennsylvania in 1879, Wallace Stevens spent his adult life working in the rigorously non-poetic insurance business. Yet his poetry, most of which he wrote after his 50th birthday, is anything but mundane. Rather, Stevens stuffed his work with the brilliant bric-a-brac of a dozen cultures, celebrating (for example) the "dark Brazilians in their cafes,/Musing immaculate, pampean dits" or the way "that old Chinese/Sat tittivating by their mountain pools/Or in the Yangtse studied out their beards." Stevens wasn't, however, a simple collector of souvenirs. A magpie with a mission, he used the peculiar music of his poetry to investigate grand philosophical dilemmas. What was the distinction between appearance and reality? Does an aesthetic artifact such as a poem bring us any closer to the real? (He seemed to answer the latter question, at least provisionally, by declaring that "the poem is the cry of its occasion/Part of the res itself and not about it.") The Collected Poetry & Prose brings together all of Stevens's published books, including such classic poems as "The Man with the Blue Guitar," "Sunday Morning," and "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird." There's also a generous sampling of his essays, speeches, letters, and miscellaneous prose. These riches confirm the enormous reach of Stevens's imagination, but they also remind us that for all his internationalism, he remained very much a product of his native soil. As he confessed in a 1948 letter, "I like to hold on to anything that seems to have a definite American past even though the American trees may be growing by the side of queer Parthenons set, say, in the neighborhood of Niagara Falls."
This outstanding volume collects for the first time all of Stevens's published poetry, along with his writings about poetry plus reviews, criticism, speeches, short stories, and philosophical works. It also contains scholarly notes on the text plus an index to first lines and titles. Undoubtedly, the single finest collection of Stevens ever produced. Essential for all collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I will leave it to others to extoll the substance of Wallace Steven's poetry and prose. If you are looking of a standard edition of Steven's works, this Library of America edition... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Montana Skyline
Reviews of this book are difficult: Stevens' is paradigmatic of high modernism and has many of the problems of the time period. Read morePublished 26 days ago by C. D. Varn
Book in perfect condition. Very good service, expedient, and as offered.Published 5 months ago by Francisco Mariategui
This LOA volume is the comprehensive and accurate words of the Poet.
And only from this Poet, as it should be ; no intrusive editing or flunky introductions. Read more
Wallace Stevens is one of my favorite poets. It's so nice to be able to pick up this volume and read a random poem to get my mind questioning again and feeling the sparkle from his... Read morePublished on April 25, 2013 by Alice Shapiro
No wonder Marianne Moore wrote those lines. Actually I love poetry, poetry written from the eyes to be sure, but mostly from the lyrical intellect inspired by the loins and the... Read morePublished on December 31, 2012 by Panayoti Kelaidis
Stevens is one of my favorite poets in North America. He plays with words and give us such a tremendous meaning. It's pretty much like my daily reading. Read morePublished on November 25, 2011 by Douglas Machado