Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday May 19, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — m759 @ 9:29 AM
Point of View

"In a sense, too, Wallace Stevens has spent a lifetime writing a single poem. What gives his best work its astonishing power and vitality is the way in which a fixed point of view, maturing naturally, eventually takes in more than a constantly shifting point of view could get at.

The point of view is romantic, 'almost the color of comedy'; but 'the strength at the center is serious.'  Behind Wallace Stevens stand Wordsworth and Coleridge as well as Rimbaud and Mallarmé, and, surprisingly enough, La Fontaine and Pope. This poetic lineage is important only in so far as it proves that a master can claim the world as ancestor. Knowing where he stands, the poet can move as a free man in the company of free men."

Samuel French Morse, review 
of The Collected Poems
of Wallace Stevens, in
The New York Times
(October 3, 1954)
Related material

The point of view
expressed in Log24 on
  today's date in 2004:

For a related gloss on Stevens's remark
"the strength at the center is serious,"
see "Serious" (also on an October 3).

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