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Collected Poems Paperback – 19 Jan 2006

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (19 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571228747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571228744
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"'One of the most considerable poets of the last hundred years... Poems that are as distinguished as any written this century.' Thom Gunn, London Magazine"

About the Author

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. He studied at Harvard and afterwards worked briefly as a journalist, before going on to study law. In 1908 he began working for the legal department of an insurance company, and was ultimately appointed vice-president of the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company in 1934.


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By KaleHawkwood TOP 100 REVIEWER on 25 April 2013
Format: Paperback
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) was a trained lawyer, and was employed by the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co all his working life. He lived a relatively quiet life in an upper-class neighbourhood. Here is his poem Disillusionment Of Ten O`Clock:

The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns,
None are green,
Or purple with green rings,
Or green with yellow rings,
Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange,
With socks of lace
And beaded ceintures.
People are not going
To dream of baboons and periwinkles.
Only, here and there, an old sailor,
Drunk and asleep in his boots,
Catches tigers
In red weather.

I suppose if one had met the Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte, in his sober suit and tie, one would be unlikely to guess that he was a painter, much less the weird and wonderful canvases he painted.
Stevens was no surrealist, but he was a sensualist of poetry, one of the most tactile of twentieth century poets, who, in poem after poem, says to the astounded reader: "Look. It`s all here, in front of you. This is it!"
Apparently, WS (oh, lucky initials) was an atheist, and despite the often rapt, awed nature of so many of his poems, what he is saying over and over again is that the world is "what it is" and no more - except to say "look at this... and this... and this too!"
Too many of Stevens` poems at one time tends to have the effect of cancelling each other out, as it were, since a certain repetitiveness ultimately displaces originality, but taken a few at a time - or a few dozen, as many are very short and succinct - they are like nothing else. One might have to look to certain French poets for something at all similar, perhaps Paul Valery`s Le Cimitiere Marin...
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Format: Paperback
This book is a must for all Stevens-addicts. Or, for that matter, anyone addicted to poetry, criticism or philosophy. Roughly half of the book is poems -- some earlier ones, including an earlier version of 'The Comedian as the Letter C', and many later than the last included in Stevens' Collected Poems. There are thirty pages of poem-plays -- including one peopled by Cat, Bowl and Broomstick. There are twenty pages of aphorisms, followed by a hundred pages of essays, speeches and questionnaire responses.
I don't know where to start in talking about this book. Some of the poems are less good than those in his Collected Poems -- they seem to be drafts for his more successful poems -- but some are as good. The late poems are especially good, clear and imagistic: "I wonder, have I lived a skeleton's life / As a questioner about reality, / A countryman of all the bones in the world? / Now, here, the warmth I had forgotten becomes / Part of the major reality, part of / An appreciation of reality ..." ('First Warmth') There are many other poems here of equal beauty.
Stevens was an unusually intelligent poet. Perhaps more unusual than his intelligence was the analytic nature of his intelligence. A number of essays here approach the subject of philosophy -- always from a poet's point of view. They offer fascinating observations such as "The marvellous poetry of Nietzsche leaves us with -- the marvellous poetry of Nietzsche, and nothing else." Other essays connect Stevens to his time: there are two reviews of William Carlos Williams, one of which interestingly (and much to Williams' annoyance) characterised Williams as a romantic, whose attraction to the anti-poetic was an necessary corrective to this romanticism.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review is not for Wallace Stevens' poetry, which I love, but specifically for the Faber and Faber edition. Though this edition is beautifully bound and laid out, the index of titles and first lines is entirely useless and bears no relation to the book. The publisher aught to issue an insert correcting this errors. Please, Faber and Faber, make this correction!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 27 Mar. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Such a wonderful poet. Loved this collection.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic copy of a treasured book 22 Oct. 2015
By Kathryn S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Speedy shipping! Fantastic copy of a treasured book. Thank you!
4.0 out of 5 stars ... I've ordered this showed up the quickest and I'm pleased I was able to replace a lost book so ... 9 July 2014
By citizen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of all the used books I've ordered this showed up the quickest and I'm pleased I was able to replace a lost book so economically.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 31 Dec. 2014
By S. DesJardin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great collection of poems. Good condition.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Gift! 22 Dec. 2012
By Mary Kay Schlimpert - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
My daughter asked for this for Christmas. I'm sure she will love it. She specifically wanted this and made sure I wrote down the author and name so I got it right!
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