Poem Hunter
Anecdote Of The Jar
Wallace Stevens (October 2, 1879 – August 2, 1955 / Pennsylvania / United States)

Anecdote Of The Jar

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

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Comments (8)

Very imaginative and thought provoking....nice write
This reminds me of the two slit experiment in physics where, by placing detectors on the slits, by monitoring reality of incoming photons, they change their behavior. We think we are objectively observing the Universe, but our technology changes the circumstances of the experiment. The technology of the jar changes not only how we perceive nature, but also nature itself. This experiment was well known in Steven's time.
Perhaps my favorite poet. But this poem lacks the music, the words, the beauty of poetry. To me, it is not a Zen story; and I don't get the joke. If it's a contrast between human creation and the natural world, it lacks the beauty and complexity of both. I've always found this poem disappointing. Others may know better.
ZACH ZACH ZACH..........hi.
Hi Zach. How ya doin?
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