Wallace Stevens Quotes

Unfortunately there is nothing more inane than an Easter carol. It is a religious perversion of the activity of Spring in our blood.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. Letter, April 23, 1916. Letters of Wallace Stevens, no. 202, ed. Holly Stevens (1967). To his future wife, Elsie Moll Kachel.
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Poet, patting more nonsense foamed From the sea, conceive for the courts Of these academies, the diviner health Disclosed in common forms.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. "Prelude to Objects."
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Say that it is the serenade Of a man that plays a blue guitar.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. The Man with the Blue Guitar (l. 9-10). . . Collected Poems [Stevie Smith]. James MacGibbon, ed. (1976) New Directions.
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Someone has left for a ride in a balloon Or in a bubble examines the bubble of air.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. "Certain Phenomena of Sound."
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If some really acute observer made as much of egotism as Freud has made of sex, people would forget a good deal about sex and find the explanation for everything in egotism.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. Letter, January 10, 1936. Letters of Wallace Stevens, no. 339, ed. Holly Stevens (1967).
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If these were only words that I am speaking Indifferent sounds and not the heraldic-ho Of the clear sovereign that is reality, Of the clearest reality that is sovereign, How should I repeat them, keep repeating them....
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. "Repetitions of a Young Captain."
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Throw away the lights, the definitions, And say of what you see in the dark That it is this or that it is that, But do not use the rotted names.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. "The Man with the Blue Guitar."
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People fall out of windows, trees tumble down, Summer is changed to winter, the young grow old The air is full of children, statues, roofs And snow. The theatre is spinning round, Colliding with deaf-mute churches and optical trains. The most massive sopranos are singing songs of scales.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. "Chaos in Motion and Not in Motion."
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In European thought in general, as contrasted with American, vigor, life and originality have a kind of easy, professional utterance. American—on the other hand, is expressed in an eager amateurish way. A European gives a sense of scope, of survey, of consideration. An American is strained, sensational. One is artistic gold; the other is bullion.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. Letters of Wallace Stevens, journal entry dated April 9, 1906, ed. Holly Stevens, Knopf (1967).
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Secrete us in reality. Discover A civil nakedness in which to be, In which to bear with the exactest force The precisions of fate, nothing fobbed off, nor changed In a beau language without a drop of blood.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. "Repetitions of a Young Captain."
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