Wallace Stevens (October 02, 1879 - August 02, 1955)
Born: 2nd October, 1879
Died: 2nd August, 1955
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Poet
Region: Reading, Pennsylvania, Hartford, Connecticut
Notable works: "Sea Surface Full of Clouds", "Harmonium"

Wallace Stevens Facts

Biography

Wallace Stevens, (born Oct. 2, 1879, Reading, Pa., U.S.--died Aug. 2, 1955, Hartford, Conn.), American poet whose work explores the interaction of reality and what man can make of reality in his mind. It was not until late in life that Stevens was read at all widely or recognized as a major poet by more than a few.

Stevens attended Harvard for three years, worked briefly for the New York Herald Tribune, and then won a degree (1904) at the New York Law School and practiced law in New York City. His first published poems, aside from college verse, appeared in 1914 in Poetry, and thereafter he was a frequent contributor to the literary magazines. In 1916 he joined an insurance firm in Hartford, Conn., rising in 1934 to vice president, a position he held until his death.

Harmonium (1923), his first book, sold fewer than 100 copies but received some favourable critical notices; it was reissued in 1931 and in 1947. In it he introduced the imagination-reality theme that occupied his creative lifetime, making his work so unified that he considered three decades later calling his collected poems "The Whole of Harmonium."

He displayed his most dazzling verbal brilliance in his first book; he later tended to relinquish surface lustre for philosophical rigour. In Harmonium appeared such poems as "Le Monocle de Mon Oncle," "Sunday Morning," "Peter Quince at the Clavier," and Stevens' own favourites, "Domination of Black" and "The Emperor of Ice-Cream"; all were frequently republished in anthologies. Harmonium also contained "Sea Surface Full of Clouds," in which waves are described in terms of such unlikely equivalents as umbrellas, French phrases, and varieties of chocolate, and "The Comedian as the Letter C," in which he examines the relation of the poet, or man of imagination, to society.

In the 1930s and early '40s, this theme was to reappear, although not to the exclusion of others, in Stevens' Ideas of Order (1935), The Man with the Blue Guitar (1937), and Parts of a World (1942). Transport to Summer (1947) incorporated two long sequences that had appeared earlier: "Notes Towards a Supreme Fiction" and "Esthetique du Mal" ("Aesthetic of Evil"), in which he argues that beauty is inextricably linked with evil. The Auroras of Autumn (1950) was followed by his Collected Poems (1954), which earned him the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. A volume of critical essays, The Necessary Angel, appeared in 1951.

After Stevens' death, Samuel French Morse edited Opus Posthumous (1957), including poems, plays, and prose omitted from the earlier collection.

Top 43 Wallace Stevens quotes

The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.
Beautiful
Beautiful thing
Course
Itself
Most
Most beautiful
Most beautiful thing
Thing
World
Accuracy of observation is the equivalent of accuracy of thinking.
Accuracy
Equivalent
Observation
Thinking
Money is a kind of poetry.
Kind
Money
Poetry
Most people read poetry listening for echoes because the echoes are familiar to them. They wade through it the way a boy wades through water, feeling with his toes for the bottom: The echoes are the bottom.
Because
Bottom
Boy
Echoes
Familiar
Feeling
His
Listening
Most
People
Poetry
Read
Them
Through
A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman.
Looks
Man
Poet
Way
Woman
World
To regard the imagination as metaphysics is to think of it as part of life, and to think of it as part of life is to realize the extent of artifice. We live in the mind.
Artifice
Extent
Imagination
Life
Live
Metaphysics
Mind
Part
Realize
Regard
Think
Everything is complicated; if that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore.
Bore
Complicated
Else
Everything
Everything else
Life
Poetry
Were
Would
Would-be
If some really acute observer made as much of egotism as Freud has made of sex, people would forget a good deal about sex and find the explanation for everything in egotism.
About
Acute
Deal
Egotism
Everything
Explanation
Find
Forget
Freud
Good
Good deal
Made
Much
Observer
One cannot spend one's time in being modern when there are so many more important things to be.
Being
Cannot
Important
Important things
Many
Modern
More
Spend
Things
Time
The imagination is man's power over nature.
Imagination
Man
Nature
Over
Power
Intolerance respecting other people's religion is toleration itself in comparison with intolerance respecting other people's art.
Art
Comparison
Intolerance
Itself
Other
People
Religion
Respecting
Toleration
The genuine artist is never 'true to life.' He sees what is real, but not as we are normally aware of it. We do not go storming through life like actors in a play. Art is never real life.
Actor
Art
Artist
Aware
Genuine
Go
He
Life
Like
Never
Normally
Play
Real
Real life
What our eyes behold may well be the text of life but one's meditations on the text and the disclosures of these meditations are no less a part of the structure of reality.
Behold
Eyes
Less
Life
May
Our
Part
Reality
Structure
Text
Well
Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise!
Annual
Dear
Her
Poor
Preparing
Silly
Spring
Surprise
Style is not something applied. It is something that permeates. It is of the nature of that in which it is found, whether the poem, the manner of a god, the bearing of a man. It is not a dress.
Applied
Bearing
Dress
Found
God
Man
Manner
Nature
Poem
Something
Style
Whether
Which
It is the unknown that excites the ardor of scholars, who, in the known alone, would shrivel up with boredom.
Alone
Ardor
Boredom
Excites
Known
Scholars
Unknown
Up
Who
Would
Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.
Around
Depends
Lake
Perhaps
Truth
Walk
Thought is an infection. In the case of certain thoughts, it becomes an epidemic.
Becomes
Case
Certain
Epidemic
Infection
Thought
Thoughts
The poet is the priest of the invisible.
Invisible
Poet
Priest
The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream.
Cream
Emperor
Ice
Ice cream
Only
In the world of words, the imagination is one of the forces of nature.
Forces
Imagination
Nature
Words
World
The way through the world is more difficult to find than the way beyond it.
Beyond
Difficult
Find
More
Than
Through
Way
World
Perhaps it is of more value to infuriate philosophers than to go along with them.
Along
Go
More
Perhaps
Philosophers
Than
Them
Value
A poem need not have a meaning and like most things in nature often does not have.
Does
Like
Meaning
Most
Nature
Need
Often
Poem
Things
The philosopher proves that the philosopher exists. The poet merely enjoys existence.
Existence
Exists
Merely
Philosopher
Poet
Proves
We say God and the imagination are one... How high that highest candle lights the dark.
Candle
Dark
God
High
Highest
How
Imagination
Lights
Say
Reality is not what it is. It consists of the many realities which it can be made into.
Consists
Made
Many
Realities
Reality
Which
Death is the mother of Beauty; hence from her, alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams and our desires.
Alone
Beauty
Come
Death
Desires
Dreams
Fulfillment
Hence
Her
Mother
Our
Our dreams
Shall
After the final no there comes a yes and on that yes the future of the world hangs.
After
Final
Future
World
Yes
How full of trifles everything is! It is only one's thoughts that fill a room with something more than furniture.
Everything
Fill
Full
Furniture
How
More
Only
Room
Something
Than
Thoughts
Trifles
In poetry, you must love the words, the ideas and the images and rhythms with all your capacity to love anything at all.
Anything
Capacity
Ideas
Images
Love
Must
Poetry
Rhythms
To love
Words
You
Your
I do not know which to prefer, The beauty of inflections, Or the beauty of innuendoes, The blackbird whistling, Or just after.
After
Beauty
Just
Know
Prefer
Which
Whistling
Nothing could be more inappropriate to American literature than its English source since the Americans are not British in sensibility.
American
American
American literature
British
Could
English
Inappropriate
Literature
More
Nothing
Sensibility
Since
Source
Than
The day of the sun is like the day of a king. It is a promenade in the morning, a sitting on the throne at noon, a pageant in the evening.
Day
Evening
King
Like
Morning
Noon
Pageant
Sitting
Sun
Throne
The fire burns as the novel taught it how.
Burns
Fire
How
Novel
Taught
One's ignorance is one's chief asset.
Asset
Chief
Ignorance
It can never be satisfied, the mind, never.
Mind
Never
Satisfied
The point of vision and desire are the same.
Desire
Point
Same
Vision
As life grows more terrible, its literature grows more terrible.
Grows
Life
Literature
More
Terrible
The reason can give nothing at all Like the response to desire.
Desire
Give
Like
Nothing
Reason
Response
Our bloom is gone. We are the fruit thereof.
Bloom
Fruit
Gone
Our
Thereof
If poetry should address itself to the same needs and aspirations, the same hopes and fears, to which the Bible addresses itself, it might rival it in distribution.
Address
Aspirations
Bible
Distribution
Fears
Hopes
Itself
Might
Needs
Poetry
Rival
Same
Should
Which
New York is a field of tireless and antagonistic interests undoubtedly fascinating but horribly unreal. Everybody is looking at everybody else a foolish crowd walking on mirrors.
Antagonistic
Crowd
Else
Everybody
Everybody else
Fascinating
Field
Foolish
Horribly
Interests
Looking
Mirrors
New
New york

Wallace Stevens essays

Read more informative topics on our blog
A great Annotation of Wallace Stevens' Of Modern Poetry Essay
An Reflexion of Wallace Stevens' Of recent PoetryIn "Of Contemporary Poetry, inch Stevens describes the purpose of contemporary poetry given what the market knows and values. Contemporary poetry must be different from traditional poetry, individuals of his time perceive themselves and their world totally different to what would be the norm the people of earlier times. Dahon suggests that warfare, like other changes, include affected what people believe. Poetry must indicate to their audience what they wish to hear. It should show them that the order, meaning and benefit they..
Arnold's Epochs of Expansion Essay
"I am bound by my very own definition of critique: a fair endeavor to learn and propagate the best that may be known and thought on the globe; " (Leitch 824) explained the Even victorian poet and critic Matt Arnold. Matt Arnold, an English poet and critic whose work was both an agent of the Passionate ideas associated with the Even victorian intellectual concerns later on was your primary fictional critic of his age. Arnold's crucial theories is usually highlighted primarily through his most important critical prose "The Function of Criticism presently Time" through..
Essay about Disillusionment Of Ten To ' Time clock, By Wallace Stevens Plus the Lamb
Beautifully constructed wording can be quickly separated from all other pieces of literature. Often anytime i want poetry I do believe of someone conveying themselves within a particularly imaginative way. Despite the fact that prose might also be writing which usually expresses alone, it is drafted down in a totally different manner. "Disillusionment of 10 O'Clock" by simply Wallace Stevens and "The Lamb" by simply William Blake are two poems which contain key qualities such as significance, imagery, vocally mimic eachother, and tempo which are component..
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