Poet: Wallace Stevens
Poem: The Plot Against The Giant
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Aug 8 2011
Comment 4 of 4, added on November 8th, 2010 at 12:00 AM.
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Comment 3 of 4, added on April 17th, 2010 at 9:13 AM.
The Plot Against the Giant
There are indeed girls, but "girl" isn't necessarily non-sexual. Young women can be girls, depending on the perspective.
If it's the perspective of a big, mighty giant, which I think is both Stevens and men in general (and more generally still, people), then young women might seem like "girls." Each girl stops the giant with something progressively more stopping than the last. The first just checks, the second abashes, and the third undoes. What are the first, second, and third? the first is smell, yes, but it's also nature. The scents come only from the flowers. This checks the giant as it checks Stevens and it checks us. The second is human artistry -- craft, but not necessarily poetry. For Stevens I think this can stop the Giant still more than nature alone. Finally, the third girls "undoes" him, seemingly with words. What does she say? Heavenly labials. There's an obvious labial pun there. She whispers something sexy. So the things that stop the Giant -- Stevens, men, and people -- are most importantly words and sex. Words can "do."
from United Kingdom
Comment 2 of 4, added on December 3rd, 2005 at 9:02 PM.
What an odd comment from Tamra! There are three girls in the poem, and no women. The poem compares three senses, scent, sight, and finally sound; the last is the most powerful-- it "undoes" the giant-- because it is self-reflexive, referring to poetry's origins in song.
Leo from United States
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