Quotations From WALLACE STEVENS
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Style is not something applied. It is something that permeates. It is of the nature of that in which it is found, whether the poem, the manner of a god, the bearing of a man. It is not a dress.Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. (Originally published 1951). Opus Posthumous, "Two or Three Ideas," (1959).
Yet there is no spring in Florida, neither in boskage perdu, nor on the nunnery beaches.Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. "Indian River."
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Most modern reproducers of life, even including the camera, really repudiate it. We gulp down evil, choke at good.Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. Opus Posthumous, "Adagia," (1959).
New York is a field of tireless and antagonistic interestsundoubtedly fascinating but horribly unreal. Everybody is looking at everybody elsea foolish crowd walking on mirrors.Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. Souvenirs and Prophecies: The Young Wallace Stevens, ch. 4, entry for June 15, 1900, ed. Holly Stevens (1977).
How has the human spirit ever survived the terrific literature with which it has had to contend?Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. "Adagia," Opus Posthumous (1959).
Everything is complicated; if that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore.Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. letter, Dec. 19, 1935. Letters of Wallace Stevens, no. 336, ed. Holly Stevens (1967).
Democritus plucked his eye out because he could not look at a woman without thinking of her as a woman. If he had read a few of our novels, he would have torn himself to pieces.Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. Lecture first published (1942). "The Noble Rider and the Sound of Words," The Necessary Angel (1951).
All the great things have been denied and we live in an intricacy of new and local mythologies, political, economic, poetic, which are asserted with an ever-enlarging incoherence.Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. "The Noble Rider and the Sound of Words," The Necessary Angel (1942, repr. 1951).
The philosopher proves that the philosopher exists. The poet merely enjoys existence.Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. (Originally published 1944). "The Figure of the Youth as Virile Poet," lecture, Aug. 1943, The Necessary Angel (1951).
The squirming facts exceed the squamous mind, If one may say so.Wallace Stevens 1879-1955, U.S. poet. "Connoisseur of Chaos," Parts of a World (1942).
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