Wallace Stevens, Intergalactic Planetary

4 thoughts on “Wallace Stevens, Intergalactic Planetary”

  1. i must thank you for this as i have been trying to answer my friends question of why i write poetry & who my audience is, but i have been at a loss to get at the core of my purpose. so i must thank you for following me so i could find this. i have been reading Stevens a long time but not got to his letters a great deal. his letter writing really compliments his poetic talent.


  2. Daniel, thanks for writing. Do try his letters, which are the perfect complement to the poetry. I don’t know of anybody else like him. Next time someone asks why you write/who’s your audience, you might give them this bit of Hart Crane, too, which I recently posted. Here he is trying to explain it to his father, but you get the sense that the words are less for his dad than they are for Crane himself, and really our attempts to answer people feel at times more like opportunities to articulate that inner urge to ourselves, not to state a manifesto or anything dogmatic, but just an instinctual realignment, a new way of saying what we’ve always thought but never had the words for:


    “And in closing I would like to just ask you to think sometime,—try to imagine working for the pure love of simply making something beautiful,—something that maybe can’t be sold or used to help sell anything else, but that is simply a communication between man and man, a bond of understanding and human enlight[en]ment—which is what a real work of art is. If you do that, maybe you will see why I am not so foolish after all to have followed what seems sometimes only a faint star. I only ask to leave behind me something that the future may find valuable, and it takes a bit of sacrifice sometimes in order to give the thing that you know is in yourself and worth giving. I shall make every sacrifice toward that end.”


  3. i read Crane quite often. i have actually read this before but the reminder of its existence is much appreciated as is your detailed reply. you have a fascinating blog, very dense, which i will spend plenty of my spare hours enjoying.


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