The poetry of Wallace Stevens is featured on our blog with 12 different posts or articles. One of the great romantic Modernist poets of the 20th century, Wallace Stevens poems are such interesting compositions of words presented with such uniqueness -- as word pictures -- and in format -- that I find it impossible to ignore his work.
Wallace Stevens was a corporate Vice President at "The Hartford" insurance company in the mid 20th century. For many of us who have studied the beat movement and grown up in and through the sixties, this fact sometimes gives him an instinctive negative label - which makes his poetry even MORE interesting.
I find his lyrical voice and imagery almost psychedelic in nature, and as such - a generation-bending glue that binds creative souls of all types together, despite the surprising cover that surrounds his spiritual book.
Even more amazing, Stevens poetry comes through as obtuse, complex - and he is one of the most analyzed poets of the 20th century (in my mind, second only to Cummings); yet if you look closely he rarely abuses his knowledge of language and words with pretention and complexity of words. A poet of the common man, using words that everyone can understand (I employ this technique myself as a direct result).
Here, for your pleasure, is one of Stevens more famous poems, "Sunday Morning" -- as read by the poet himself in the mid 1950's, shortly before his death.
His tone, rhythm, cadence and pace are awe-inspiring. Enjoy this addition to our audio series: