R.H. Blyth's comment here puts me in mind of Stevens, and makes me wonder afresh at the influence of eastern thought on his poetics. The following is an excerpt from Blyth's 'Haiku, Volume 3, Summer-Autumn':
Made him measure it
With his fan.
"The way in which the peony is considered as the active source of the measuring of itself is not merely good psychology, but shows us how Issa looks upon the plant world and upon himself. Compared to that of the ordinary man, human beings and plants are much closer together in the thought-feeling world of Issa. The flower stands there in its color and glory. It does not bloom to be seen, nor does it wish to blush unseen. It is not dependent upon man, but neither is it independent of him. Its purposeless purpose is fulfilled in its blooming in solitude and silence, yet when no one is gazing upon it, it has no shape or color or fragrance. The flower needs the mind, and the mind needs the flower for its fulfillment. Issa emphasizes the power and activity of the peony not only because we live in an egocentric, homocentric world, valueless and unpoetical, but also because he wishes to bring out the special nature of the peony, its power and magnificence, its lofty splendor. Is this splendor in the flower? Does Issa cause the flower to be measured, or does the flower cause Issa to measure it?"