Spotlight Poetry – To the One of Fictive Music – A Poem by Wallace Stevens

The image depicts a painting titled The Music of the Sea by the artist. The work is a vibrant abstract  painting. The image supports the poem To the One of Fictive Music written by the poet Wallace Stevens.
© Brooks Evans, The Music of the Sea, 2017

To the One of Fictive Music by Wallace Stevens

Sister and mother and diviner love,
And of the sisterhood of the living dead

Most near, most clear, and of the clearest bloom,
And of the fragrant mothers the most dear
And queen, and of diviner love the day
And flame and summer and sweet fire, no thread

Of cloudy silver sprinkles in your gown
Its venom of renown, and on your head
No crown is simpler than the simple hair.

Now of the music summoned by the birth
That separates us from the wind and sea,
Yet leaves us in them, until earth becomes,
By being so much of the things we are,

Gross effigy and simulacrum, none
Gives motion to perfection more serene
Than yours, out of our imperfections wrought,
Most rare, or ever of more kindred air

In the laborious weaving that you wear.

For so retentive of themselves are men
That music is intensest which proclaims

The near, the clear, and vaunts the clearest bloom,
And of all vigils musing the obscure,
That apprehends the most which sees and names,
As in your name, an image that is sure,

Among the arrant spices of the sun,
O bough and bush and scented vine, in whom
We give ourselves our likest issuance.

Yet not too like, yet not so like to be
Too near, too clear, saving a little to endow
Our feigning with the strange unlike, whence springs
The difference that heavenly pity brings.

For this, musician, in your girdle fixed
Bear other perfumes. On your pale head wear
A band entwining, set with fatal stones.
Unreal, give back to us what once you gave:

The imagination that we spurned and crave.

Poem Attribution © Wallace Stevens, To the One of Fictive Music

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Painting Attribution © Brooks Evans, The Music of the Sea, 2017

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Poetry Plus – Anecdote of the Jar – A poem by Wallace Stevens

© Viski Katalin, Vivid Wilderness

Anecdote of the Jar by Wallace Stevens

‘The most beautiful thing in the world is the world itself.’

Wallace Stevens

© The Economist (Photographer Unstated)

A Jar of Chutney

A jar of chutney
Winter’s windowsill grey boned
Love fermenting grieves

Wallace Stevens (1879 -1955) was an American modernist poet. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, educated at Harvard and then New York Law School, and he spent most of his life working as an executive for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his Collected Poems in 1955.

Stevens’s first period of writing begins with his 1923 publication of the Harmonium collection, followed by a slightly revised and amended second edition in 1930.

His second period occurred in the eleven years immediately preceding the publication of his Transport to Summer, when Stevens had written three volumes of poems including Ideas of Order, The Man with the Blue Guitar, Parts of a World, along with Transport to Summer.

His third and final period of writing poems occurred with the publication of The Auroras of Autumn in the early 1950s followed by the release of his Collected Poems in 1954 a year before his death.

His best-known poems include “The Auroras of Autumn”, “Anecdote of the Jar”, “Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock”, “The Emperor of Ice-Cream”, “The Idea of Order at Key West”, “Sunday Morning”, “The Snow Man”, and “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”.

Wallace Stevens’ home Connecticut (Photographer Unstated)

Poem Attribution © Wallace Stevens, Anecdote of the Jar

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Haiku Attribution Goff James, A Jar of Chutney

Photo 1 Attribution © (Photographer Unstated), Wallace Stevens, (The Economist)

Photo 2 Attribution © (Photographer Unstated), Wallace Stevens’ home Connecticut

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Painting Attribution © Viski Katalin, Vivid Wilderness, (Date Unstated)

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

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Poetry Plus – The Emperor of Ice-Cream – A poem by Wallace Stevens

© Patricia McParlin, Transient

The Emperor of Ice-Cream – A poem by Wallace Stevens

Sleeping in Silence

Sleeping in silence
Laid in his sarcophagus
Marbled winter stiff

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) one of America’s most respected 20th century poets. He was a master stylist, employing an extraordinary vocabulary and a rigorous precision in crafting his poems. But he was also a philosopher of aesthetics, vigorously exploring the notion of poetry as the supreme fusion of the creative imagination and objective reality.

Poem Attribution © Wallace Stevens, The Emperor of Ice-Cream

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Senryu Attribution Goff James, Sleeping in Silence

Painting Attribution © Patricia McParlin, Transient, (Date Unstated)

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