Articles - December 2014

There it was (PoemTalk #83)

Wallace Stevens, 'The Poem That Took the Place of a Mountain'

Left to right: Susan Howe, Dee Morris, Nancy Kuhl

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Among the last things Wallace Stevens wrote was a metapoem, a poem in which a man — a reader and presumably a poet too — does not write a poem but picks his way among the aspects of an old poem, the poem that had once helped him by standing in for a mountain. He composes (or rather “recompos[s]”) the objects and perspectives of the way or path up the mountain. It had been a “direction.” Was it now again?