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Analysis and comments on Of Modern Poetry by Wallace Stevens

Comment 8 of 8, added on July 16th, 2014 at 7:45 PM.
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Comment 5 of 8, added on October 8th, 2011 at 12:00 AM.
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Comment 4 of 8, added on February 26th, 2007 at 10:26 AM.

I really like that comment tying Whitman to Stevens, as I never really
thought of it before. Yes both are creating a stage and embracing the
reader in a present-tense poetry, albeit maybe on different stages with
different acting methods. Whitman reaches out in Song of Myself, and
Stevens reaches out in many poems, including here, but other times more
obliquely, as in my favorite, "The Snow Man." Yes the "act of finding"
seems more important than "to find" in this poem. The poem must be "wholly
/ containing the mind," and this itself might be what suffices: that sense
of transport, communication, knowledge, and rapture.

GFunk from United States
Comment 3 of 8, added on October 28th, 2005 at 6:20 AM.

"what will suffice..." To me this is one of the profound things of our
poetry. However, Johann Sebastian Bach possibly had the same idea in his
mind, when he said: "Never use two violins when one will suffice."

Jukka Kemppinen from Finland
Comment 2 of 8, added on July 16th, 2005 at 7:54 AM.

What strikes me in that poem is the idea mentioned by Alan- 'finding what
will suffice'.-To me it means that writing poetry is striving towards
perfection, one has to try many options before choosing the ultimate one.
Therefore I would disagree here with Alan on the epiphany motif. Stevens
writes that a poem must be an 'act of the mind' and that it must be heard
in the 'ear of the mind'. To me it suggests a careful precision of the form
and content, gradual evolving of an idea rather than a sudden feat. Thus I
don't suppose it is emotion that Stevens believes to be the major tool,
mode of wiriting, but I think that he validates it as a basis, fundament
and inspiration, however, contolled by a modern poet's skill.

Magda from Poland
Comment 1 of 8, added on January 29th, 2005 at 12:33 PM.

Having just studied Whitman, I am totally taken by Stevens, because he has
written a piece which completely changes what it means to read and write
poetry. He honors the inividual mind, and links the poet and the reader as
comrades, celebrating the process of searching for meaning, moreso than the
process of delivering answers. He stresses "the act of finding....what
will suffice....it has to find what will suffice...it must be the finding
of satisfaction". I totally love the idea of "sudden rightnesses", the
ephiphany which occurs when one becomes one with the poet. I'm very new
at interpreting poetry, but this piece really has set me on an exciting
path.

Alan Glazen from United States

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Information about Of Modern Poetry

Poet: Wallace Stevens
Poem: Of Modern Poetry
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 15424 times
Poem of the Day: Jun 6 2014


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