WS Quote

  • "Compare the silent rose of the sun And rain, the blood-rose living in its smell, With this paper, this dust. That states the point." ~ Wallace Stevens


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Great blog. Randomly arrived upon your blog yesterday evening! Love it.

I am only since 2009 been reading and finding Wallace Stevens.

Now I have one more website to visit for my Stevens fix.. in addition to the great Stevens page at UPenn (by Stevens scholar Al Filreis) -

I am going to try to find the Robin Gail Schulze essay to read but after a quick perusal of this post can I posit a question?

I believe critics have analyzed Stevens' poems and come to realize that, poems like Sunday Morning notwithstanding, that Wallace Stevens was an atheist. Many of his poems explore the angst in human kind now that they have lost their belief in God.

"What is divinity if it can come. Only in silent shadows and in dreams?"

So, to me, the kataphatic version of Stevens - experiencing God - seems a bit of a disconnect.

Again, I am no Stevens scholar nor a poetry critic and have only recently started reading his great poems and about them.

FYI...Just did a search for "Wallace Stevens athiest" and found this...

Will read the entire essay later but it says: "Some of the prevailing critical views of Stevens' work characterize him as an "atheist" (Pearce 415) whose work affirms "the firm dignity of the merely natural man" (Bloom 76)"

The famous literary critic Harold Bloom, as you may know, absolutely loves Wallace Stevens. (By the same token, he seems to have a special aversion to T. S. Eliot, whose Four Quartets is one of my favorite poems.)

Who is Hoon?

Hi Sanjeev,

Thanks for posting. Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to this blog and read it.

I think it's an interesting question whether WS was an atheist or not - maybe like many western people, an atheist in search of a religion, by which I mean, a form of spirituality that makes sense to them. It seems to me that a lot of westerners would have liked to find eastern religion, but it wasn't as avaible to them, in WS's age, as it is in ours. In some ways this poem almost seems to describe some of the advanced states of spirituality described in some of the western kundalini literature.

Anyway, I started this blog primarily with an end in mind of learning more about Stevens. I am certainly no authority on the subject, just someone exploring.

What I felt of that poem was something spiritual, something really good because these are perfect feelings, I'd like to get the inspiration to writing something like that.m10m

I read the poem using the existentialism point of view. It is evident in the poem that the persona talking has this sense of I and ME!

I agree with you. Stevens is genius. To create such a lovely poem is incredible. I have been his number one fan. Thank you for featuring his great piece here.

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