Helen Vendler on Stevens’s Anger and Desire

“The lapses and failures of idealization–especially the idealization of romantic love, forced on us by nature, culture, and, above all, literature–press Stevens to an ever more stringent, and even harsh, analysis of the interrelation of the emotion’s flights and their eventual correction in time.”  This harshness is “an expression of an anger that a mind so designed for adoration never found an adoration and sensuality compatible; they remained locked compartments, a source of emotional confusion and bitterness.” (p.28)