Wallace Stevens: The Click Of Marbled Orbs

(Sonnet as Keynote to WS)

The stout man puffs on his Havana cigar
And picks canary chords on his blue guitar,
Fashions flawed words and spindrift sounds
Into day-glow verbs and glass-blown nouns.
How much the notion of a supreme fiction
Derives from bric-a-brac and spiffy diction
None knows. Say his thickest absolutes
Derive from blue rotundities of fruits:
His crispest jugglery performs the feat
Of hardening stealthy points into concrete
Trombones, sausage-makers, cattle skulls,
And pettifogging buds. His monocle's
Univocal, a prop that lets him see
Glories in pewter, and mere poetry.


(Published in The Wallace Stevens Journal, Fall 2005. Vol.29. No.2 p.304)

by William F Dougherty

Other poems of DOUGHERTY (89)

Comments (12)

I thought the hardening into concrete as opposed to abstract was very stealthily clever. Sometimes where there's doubt you have to let the prior rhythm guide you as to emphasis. I'm sure that if Stevens were able to read this he'd shake his head and say damn, was I really worthy of this? .... cattle skulls, And pettifogging buds.... serious poetic nourishment!
I happen to be a reader unfamiliar with the work of Wallace Stevens, but I like William F. Dougherty's poem nonetheless. The first four lines are tight and descriptive. - glassblown nouns - terrific! ! My primary takeaway from this sonnet is Mr. Dougherty's admiration for Wallace Stevens; it genuinely comes across.
Nice poem. Sounds more of ancient lines. I like it.
Like this, note you use the Shakespearian form and end on a couplet, not a Petrachian sonnet rhyme scheme. Good write
.....a wonderful write for member poem of the day....excellent rhyming...and a pleasure to read...
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