OPUS POSTHUMOUS by Wallace Stevens


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In the realm of belles-lettres and poetry, as well as American literary history, this is an important book. Over and above about one hundred poems, many of them published for the first time and some exceptionally fine, it also contains three plays, a collection of aphorisms, and a number of prose essays. Not to be overlooked is the very penetrating and sensitive introduction by Samuel French Morse, a friend of the poet. Mr. Morse makes clear that in all his works Stevens' poems were ""about poetry"". He liked to speculate upon ""the theory of poetry in relation to what poetry has been and in relation to what it ought to be"". This preoccupation is perhaps the root of the abstract- almost mathematical- quality in Stevens. He was a man of his epoch, living in a God-less and unbelieving, rationalist world. Poetry filled this gap for him and he said finely ""the import of poetry is the import of the spirit"". And this belief is what gives Stevens' poetry its measure of greatness..... This book is particularly rich material for the future interpreter of Stevens' life and his work. And Mr. Morse promises that there is still more material on which to draw. What is here presented helps immensely in an appreciation of his stature and importance.

Publisher: Knopf