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Best Famous Wallace Stevens Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Wallace Stevens poems. This is a select list of the best famous Wallace Stevens poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Wallace Stevens poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Wallace Stevens poems.

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by Wallace Stevens | |

Gray Room (1917)

Although you sit in a room that is gray, 
Except for the silver 
Of the straw-paper, 
And pick 
At your pale white gown; 
Or lift one of the green beads 
Of your necklace, 
To let it fall; 
Or gaze at your green fan 
Printed with the red branches of a red willow; 
Or, with one finger, 
Move the leaf in the bowl-- 
The leaf that has fallen from the branches of the forsythia 
Beside you.
.
.
What is all this? I know how furiously your heart is beating.


by Wallace Stevens | |

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


by Wallace Stevens | |

The River of Rivers in Connecticut

There is a great river this side of Stygia
Before one comes to the first black cataracts
And trees that lack the intelligence of trees.
In that river, far this side of Stygia, The mere flowing of the water is a gayety, Flashing and flashing in the sun.
On its banks, No shadow walks.
The river is fateful, Like the last one.
But there is no ferryman.
He could not bend against its propelling force.
It is not to be seen beneath the appearances That tell of it.
The steeple at Farmington Stands glistening and Haddam shines and sways.
It is the third commonness with light and air, A curriculum, a vigor, a local abstraction .
.
.
Call it, one more, a river, an unnamed flowing, Space-filled, reflecting the seasons, the folk-lore Of each of the senses; call it, again and again, The river that flows nowhere, like a sea.


by Wallace Stevens | |

The High-Toned Old Christian Woman

Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame.
Take the moral law and make a nave of it And from the nave build haunted heaven.
Thus, The conscience is converted into palms, Like windy citherns hankering for hymns.
We agree in principle.
That's clear.
But take The opposing law and make a peristyle, And from the peristyle project a masque Beyond the planets.
Thus, our bawdiness, Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last, Is equally converted into palms, Squiggling like saxophones.
And palm for palm, Madame, we are where we began.
Allow, Therefore, that in the planetary scene Your disaffected flagellants, well-stuffed, Smacking their muzzy bellies in parade, Proud of such novelties of the sublime, Such tink and tank and tunk-a-tunk-tunk, May, merely may, madame, whip from themselves A jovial hullabaloo among the spheres.
This will make widows wince.
But fictive things Wink as they will.
Wink most when widows wince.


by Wallace Stevens | |

The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm

The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The words were spoken as if there was no book, Except that the reader leaned above the page, Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be The scholar to whom the book is true, to whom The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.
The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind: The access of perfection to the page.
And the world was calm.
The truth in a calm world, In which there is no other meaning, itself Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself Is the reader leaning late and reading there.


by Wallace Stevens | |

The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter 
To regard the frost and the boughs 
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; 

And have been cold a long time 
To behold the junipers shagged with ice, 
The spruces rough in the distant glitter 

Of the January sun; and not to think 
Of any misery in the sound of the wind, 
In the sound of a few leaves, 

Which is the sound of the land 
Full of the same wind 
That is blowing in the same bare place 

For the listener, who listens in the snow, 
And, nothing himself, beholds 
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.


by Wallace Stevens | |

The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man

One's grand flights, one's Sunday baths,
One's tootings at the weddings of the soul
Occur as they occur.
So bluish clouds Occurred above the empty house and the leaves Of the rhododendrons rattled their gold, As if someone lived there.
Such floods of white Came bursting from the clouds.
So the wind Threw its contorted strength around the sky.
Could you have said the bluejay suddenly Would swoop to earth? It is a wheel, the rays Around the sun.
The wheel survives the myths.
The fire eye in the clouds survives the gods.
To think of a dove with an eye of grenadine And pines that are cornets, so it occurs, And a little island full of geese and stars: It may be the ignorant man, alone, Has any chance to mate his life with life That is the sensual, pearly spuse, the life That is fluent in even the wintriest bronze.


by Wallace Stevens | |

Disillusionment of Ten o Clock

The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns.
None are green, Or purple with green rings, Or green with yellow rings, Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange, With socks of lace And beaded ceintures.
People are not going To dream of baboons and periwinkles.
Only, here and there, an old sailor, Drunk and asleep in his boots, Catches tigers In red weather.


by Wallace Stevens | |

The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress As they are used to wear, and let the boys Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.
Take from the dresser of deal.
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet On which she embroidered fantails once And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.


by Wallace Stevens | |

Nomad Exquisite

As the immense dew of Florida
Brings forth
The big-finned palm
And green vine angering for life,

As the immense dew of Florida
Brings forth hymn and hymn
From the beholder,
Beholding all these green sides
And gold sides of green sides,

And blessed mornings,
Meet for the eye of the young alligator,
And lightning colors
So, in me, comes flinging
Forms, flames, and the flakes of flames.


by Wallace Stevens | |

Poem Written at Morning

A sunny day's complete Poussiniana
Divide it from itself.
It is this or that And it is not.
By metaphor you paint A thing.
Thus, the pineapple was a leather fruit, A fruit for pewter, thorned and palmed and blue, To be served by men of ice.
The senses paint By metaphor.
The juice was fragranter Than wettest cinnamon.
It was cribled pears Dripping a morning sap.
The truth must be That you do not see, you experience, you feel, That the buxom eye brings merely its element To the total thing, a shapeless giant forced Upward.
Green were the curls upon that head.


by Wallace Stevens | |

Metaphors of a Magnifico

Twenty men crossing a bridge,
Into a village,
Are twenty men crossing twenty bridges,
Into twenty villages,
Or one man
Crossing a single bridge into a village.
This is old song That will not declare itself .
.
.
Twenty men crossing a bridge, Into a village, Are Twenty men crossing a bridge Into a village.
That will not declare itself Yet is certain as meaning .
.
.
The boots of the men clump On the boards of the bridge.
The first white wall of the village Rises through fruit-trees.
Of what was it I was thinking? So the meaning escapes.
The first white wall of the village .
.
.
The fruit-trees .
.
.


by Wallace Stevens | |

NOT IDEAS ABOUT THE THING BUT THE THING ITSELF

At the earliest ending of winter,
In March, a scrawny cry from outside
Seemed like a sound in his mind.
He knew that he heard it, A bird's cry, at daylight or before, In the early March wind.
The sun was rising at six, No longer a battered panache above snow.
.
.
It would have been outside.
It was not from the vast ventriloquism Of sleep's faded papier-mache.
.
.
The sun was coming from the outside.
That scrawny cry--It was A chorister whose c preceded the choir.
It was part of the colossal sun, Surrounded by its choral rings, Still far away.
It was like A new knowledge of reality.


by Wallace Stevens | |

Bantams in Pine-Woods

Chieftain Iffucan of Azcan in caftan
Of tan with henna hackles, halt!

Damned universal cock, as if the sun
Was blackamoor to bear your blazing tail.
Fat! Fat! Fat! Fat! I am the personal.
Your world is you.
I am my world.
You ten-foot poet among inchlings.
Fat! Begone! An inchling bristles in these pines, Bristles, and points their Appalachian tangs, And fears not portly Azcan nor his hoos.


by Wallace Stevens | |

Negation

Hi! The creator too is blind,
Struggling toward his harmonious whole,
Rejecting intermediate parts,
Horrors and falsities and wrongs;
Incapable master of all force,
Too vague idealist, overwhelmed
By an afflatus that persists.
For this, then, we endure brief lives, The evanescent symmetries From that meticulous potter's thumb.


by Wallace Stevens | |

The Planet On The Table

 Ariel was glad he had written his poems.
They were of a remembered time Or of something seen that he liked.
Other makings of the sun Were waste and welter And the ripe shrub writhed.
His self and the sun were one And his poems, although makings of his self, Were no less makings of the sun.
It was not important that they survive.
What mattered was that they should bear Some lineament or character, Some affluence, if only half-perceived, In the poverty of their words, Of the planet of which they were part.


by Wallace Stevens | |

Disillusionment Of Ten Oclock

 The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns.
None are green, Or purple with green rings, Or green with yellow rings, Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange, With socks of lace And beaded ceintures.
People are not going To dream of baboons and periwinkles.
Only, here and there, an old sailor, Drunk and asleep in his boots, Catches Tigers In red weather.


by Wallace Stevens | |

Final Soliloquy Of The Interior Paramour

 Light the first light of evening, as in a room
In which we rest and, for small reason, think
The world imagined is the ultimate good.
This is, therefore, the intensest rendezvous.
It is in that thought that we collect ourselves, Out of all the indifferences, into one thing: Within a single thing, a single shawl Wrapped tightly round us, since we are poor, a warmth, A light, a power, the miraculous influence.
Here, now, we forget each other and ourselves.
We feel the obscurity of an order, a whole, A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous.
Within its vital boundary, in the mind.
We say God and the imagination are one.
.
.
How high that highest candle lights the dark.
Out of this same light, out of the central mind, We make a dwelling in the evening air, In which being there together is enough.


by Wallace Stevens | |

Valley Candle

 My candle burned alone in an immense valley.
Beams of the huge night converged upon it, Until the wind blew.
The beams of the huge night Converged upon its image, Until the wind blew.


by Wallace Stevens | |

The Poem That Took The Place Of A Mountain

 There it was, word for word,
The poem that took the place of a mountain.
He breathed its oxygen, Even when the book lay turned in the dust of his table.
It reminded him how he had needed A place to go to in his own direction, How he had recomposed the pines, Shifted the rocks and picked his way among clouds, For the outlook that would be right, Where he would be complete in an unexplained completion: The exact rock where his inexactness Would discover, at last, the view toward which they had edged, Where he could lie and, gazing down at the sea, Recognize his unique and solitary home.