Poet: Wallace Stevens
Poem: The Plot Against The Giant
Poem of the Day:
Aug 8 2011
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Comment 3 of 5, 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."
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