- Uncategorized

Wallace Stevens Online Resources

There are a number of fantastic online resources about Wallace Stevens and his work. One of the best, for me, is the collection of audio recordings of Stevens reading his work. Stevens’s commanding, deeply sonorous, and serious, without being solemn, delivery adds another dimension toward the understanding and appreciation of his poems.

I’ve dipped into Ronald Sukenick’s Wallace Stevens, Musing the Obscure: Readings, an Interpretation, and a Guide to the Collected Poetry and enjoyed his glosses.

Another excellent resource is the Online Concordance to Wallace Stevens. Thinking about how important color was in Stevens’s work, particularly blue, of course, I plugged different colors into the engine and was overwhelmed by the results for not only blue but also for green and red and yellow and black, and perhaps more surprisingly, bronze. The online concordance came up with these results for bronze:

Invective Against Swans, line 3: A bronze rain from the sun descending marks

Nuances of a Theme by Williams, line 5 (i.1): Shine alone, shine nakedly, shine like bronze,

Dance of the Macabre Mice, line 12: The arm of bronze outstretched against all evil!

The Idea of Order at Key West, line 31: Theatrical distances, bronze shadows heaped

The Man with the Blue Guitar line, 14 (ii.4): And bearded bronze, but not a man,

The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man, line 19: That is fluent in even the wintriest bronze.

Montrachet-le-Jardin, line 24: The hand can touch, neither green bronze nor marble, Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction, It Must Change, line 273 (iii.13): Changed his true flesh to an inhuman bronze.

This Solitude of Cataracts line 16: To be a bronze man breathing under archaic lapis,

An Ordinary Evening in New Haven, line 169 (x.7): Of bronze whose mind was made up and who, therefore, died. line 170 (x.8): We are not men of bronze and we are not dead.

Architecture (OP) line 55 (vii.3):The bronze-filled plazas

Owl’s Clover, The Old Woman and the Statue (OP), line 7 (ii.3): Before the horses, clouds of bronze imposed line 8 (ii.4):On clouds of gold, and green engulfing bronze, line 28 (iii.7):The golden clouds that turned to bronze, the sounds line 55 (iv.12):Now felt, now known as this. The clouds of bronze

Owl’s Clover, A Duck for Dinner (OP), line 623 (iv.40): Complete in bronze on enormous pedestals.

Recitation After Dinner (OP), line 15: The bronze of the wise man seated in repose

Of Mere Being (OP), line 3:In the bronze decor,

And here’s a list of great resources culled mainly from here and here.

Hartford Friends and Enemies of Wallace Stevens
Selected writings of Stevens, recording, walking tour, grave site, contemporary art related to Stevens, links and more. Includes info on how to subscribe to the Stevens list.

Wallace Stevens Collection, University of Miami Libraries
A very brief info on the Stevens Collection compiled by Charles Morgan.

Estate of Mind
Stevens’s poetry with drawings by Mark Napier.

IMS: Wallace Stevens, HarperAudio
Stevens reads four of his own poems, including “The Idea of Order at Key West.”

Wallace Stevens’s deathbed conversion, a letter from Arthur Hanley

Wallace Stevens’s New York Times obituary

Hartford Friends of Wallace Stevens, a site that includes information about the Wallace Stevens listserv.

Sylvia Salmi’s 1948 photographic portrait of Stevens

Some poems by Stevens

The Wallace Stevens listserv

Secretaries of the Moon: excerpts from three letters in the correspondence of Stevens and Jose Rodriguez Feo

Stevens’s avid Cuban correspondent, Jose Rodriguez Feo

An essay, “‘Beyond the Rhetorician’s Touch’: Stevens’s Painterly Abstractions” (published in American Literary History), an essay about Stevens, the Cold War, American attitudes toward Europe, and Abstract Expressionism

A review of David Jarroway’s Wallace Stevens and the Question of Belief

A review of William Bevis’s Mind of Winter: Stevens, Meditation, and Literature

Materials from Stevens and the Actual World (1991), including Chapter 3, “Description without a Sense of Place” and a brief review

Materials from Modernism from Right to Left (1994), including the preface.

Review of Modernism from Right to Left by Brian McHale in Poetics Today

Review of Modernism from Right to Left by Paul Giles; and another by Michael Coyle; and Robert Donahoo

The “Dominion Wide Mouth” Jar said to be (by Roy Harvey Pearce) the “source” for the “Jar in Tennessee”

A recent exhibit, organized by Glen MacLeod, featured paintings Stevens admired and which influenced him (more information on this exhibit coming here soon); one wall displayed (at center) a Picasso said by MacLeod to have a direct bearing on “The Man with the Blue Guitar” (written 1936-37).

A painting by Eugene Berman, “Memories of Ischia,” directly shaped The Man with the Blue Guitar.

The Wallace Stevens Journal, edited by John Serio at Clarkson University

Praise for Filreis’s critical work on Stevens from Bill Ford

More praise (2002)

Review of Thirteen Ways: Theoretical Investigations in Architecture, Robert Harbison

3 thoughts on “Wallace Stevens Online Resources

  1. Stunning John, especially PennSound, which I know has a longer Ben Marcus reading.

    About ‘Bronze’ – the last line of “This Solitude of Cataracts” –

    “Breathing his bronzen breath at the azury centre of time.”

    In the 1952 reading at PennSound I listened to “Puella Parvula” Listen for the tolling of bells in the back during the fifth stanza. And not to be sentimental but there is something about this poem that makes me cry. I read it a few days ago and I let loose then too.

    Also, look at the second last line of that poem “Flame, sound, fury composed…” – Three of the greatest writers ever (Shakespeare, Faulkner, Stevens) – “all three/Now marry in an instant.” – Edmund in KING LEAR Act V

Leave a Reply