An Analysis of the Idea of Poetry as Presented by Wallace Stevens

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“I dwell in Possibility-- / A fairer House than Prose . . .” (Dickinson) Poetry in its most basic form predates literacy. In fact, poetry was first utilized as a technique to assist in keeping an oral record of things like history, stories, genealogy and in some cases, even law. Most people have come to believe that poetry was so widely used due to the fact that it was far easier to memorize then prose, and during the time of texts like the Odyssey, oral recitation was the number one way of relaying information from one individual to another. So it is needless to note that poetry has undergone a lot of changes over the course of history. With the oldest surviving poem being the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor, dated around 4500 B.C.E, and the most recent being typed out on someone’s laptop right now, it is no wonder that things have had to shift. Each and every poet has their own opinions on poetry, what it is as well as what it means. These ideas all vary, pulling their definitions from the modern world as well as the historical world. Three poets have managed a nearly impossible task of defining poetry through example, Wallace Stevens in His Text Of Modern Poetry, Archibald MacLeish in His Text Ars Poetica And Marianne Moore in Her Text Poetry. Wallace Stevens’ text Of Modern Poetry circulates around the central idea of poetry filling the long hollow void in the lives of those who didn’t know how to find a deeper meaning. The most important thing to keep note of in regards to Steven’s text is the time period it was published in. This poem first made an appearance in a collection of poems entitled Parts of a world in 1942. Now it is important to note that just a year before this collection was published, Japan bombed Pearl Harbo... ... middle of paper ... ...overnment or knocked out of existence. Poetry has become an integral part of every culture in every period of time, and will very likely remain a deciding factor for generations to come. As long as there are people around to create and recall, poetics will survive, and that is fact. Works Cited Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. New York: Random, 2002. Print. Babbitt, Natalie. Tuck Everlasting. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1975. Print. Dickinson, Emily. "How Happy is the Little Stone." The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. By Emily Dickinson and Thomas Herbert Johnson. London: Faber, 1970. N. pag. Print. - - -. "I Dwell in Possibility." The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. By Emily Dickinson and Thomas Herbert Johnson. London: Faber, 1970. N. pag. Print. Thoreau, Henry David. Walden and Other Writings. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1993. Print.

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