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Wikipedia Summary for Wallace Stevens

Wallace Stevens (October 2, 1879 – August 2, 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".

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Longer Version:

Style is not something applied. It is something that permeates. It is of the nature of that in which it is found, whether the poem, the manner of a god, the bearing of a man. It is not a dress.


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Longer Version:

Poetry is a satisfying of the desire for resemblance. As the mere satisfying of a desire, it is pleasurable. But poetry if it did nothing but satisfy a desire would not rise above the level of many lesser things. Its singularity is that in the act of satisfying the desire for resemblance it touches the sense of reality, it enhances the sense of reality, heightens it, intensifies it.


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Longer Version:

One ought not to hoard culture. It should be adapted and infused into society as a leaven. Liberality of culture does not mean illiberality of its benefits.


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Longer Version:

How red the rose that is the soldier's wound, The wounds of many soldiers, the wounds of all The soldiers that have fallen, red in blood, The soldier of time grown deathless in great size.


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