Summary Of Vendlers Stevens Essay

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Title: Looking at the Worst: Wallace Stevens´s the Rock Author: Helen Hennessy Vendler Summary In her article, Helen Vendler concentrates on Wallace Stevens´s late work, especially on two of his poetry collections: The Rock and Collected Poems. She also, to complete the view on Stevens, mentions some late, uncollected poems as well as two poems preceding The Rock. She assumes that there are three major premises in Stevens´s late work. First: Death is a biological horror. Second: Morality confers a compensatory value of life. And most importantly third: Age is a paralytic stasis of body and health. Then she analyzes the connection between Stevens´s poetic structures and content of his poems. Stevens´s late works seem to be nearly obsessed with experience of time and death. His most impressive and distinctive stylistic analogies to one of his favorite topics are repetitive forms which recall strongly the stasis of the end described in Vendler´s premises to Steven´s work. But even in most static poems like „The Region November“ there always is inevitable knowledge of „The Plain Sense of Things.“ Quiet self-explanatory title of another static poem by the way. „The absence of the imagination has itself to be imagined,“ as the poem says. The other premise, premise of death being a biological horror, is most obvious in Stevens´s early elegies such as „World Without Peculiarity,“ or „Burgher of Petty Death.“ In these poems Stevens mourns for his dead parents to realize complete unimportance of particular death to the universe. This contrasts with utter grief that the devasteted son experiences. The biological horror continues in images of nature as a sexually ambiguous and cannibalistic mother in „Madame La Fleurie.“ The third structure of reality is described at last in the analysis of Stevens´s title poem The Rock, where Stevens calls on life and memory of life, to be
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