Quite simply, the best cultural review in the world
The sovereign ghost of Wallace Stevens
On the poet's place in the American Pantheon & the new Selected Poems, edited by John N. Serio.
was right!Support The
Wallace Stevens was not quite a teenager when Whitman died. Divided by some sixty years and the Civil War, these famous stay-at-homes were both elbowing representatives of a character peculiarly American. It was cunning for Whitman to pretend to be an American rough, though his rough edges were largely of his own making, and inspired of Stevens to conceal his poetic imagination beneath the wool suit of an expert in surety bonds. One life might be laid upon the affinities of the other: they shared the nonconforming education (Stevens a Harvard man, but a non-degree student); the late access to mature poetry (Leaves of Grass published at 36, Harmonium at 43); the belated recognition and almost bardic status; the vagueness about the private life (we are as mystified by the sexuality of the one as the other). These are the types and conditions of self-invention, the restlessness of an ...
This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 28 October 2009, on page 16
Copyright © 2015 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.comhttp://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/The-sovereign-ghost-of-Wallace-Stevens-4283
E-mail to friend
A deeper look into In a Station of the Metro reveals much about Pound's development as a poet.
On Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Glück; Accepting the Disaster, by Joshua Mehigan; If the Tabloids Are True What Are You?, by Matthea Harvey; Gabriel, by Edward Hirsch; One Thousand Things Worth Knowing, by Paul Muldoon; The Heart Is Strange: New Selected Poems, by John Berryman
Caesar's death was more than the end of an extraordinary life; it was the end of an era.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali's new book argues that the time for a Muslim reformation is now.
A selection from David Pryce-Jones's memoir reveals the literary world, anti-Semitism, and changing politics of twentieth-century Europe.
The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"