Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)


“After one has abandoned a belief in God, poetry is that essence which takes its place as life’s redemption.” –Wallace Stevens, Opus Posthumous 

“The truth seems to be that we live in concepts of the imagination before the reason has established them.” –Wallace Stevens, “Imagination as Value”

Read a bio of Stevens at the Poetry Foundation. Check out scholarly excerpts on Stevens at MAPS.

And here is the Wikipedia page on Stevens.

Anecdote of the Jar

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion every where.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.



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