Penn State

Thomas R. Smith - associate professor of English, a head of Division of Arts and Humanities, Penn State Abington

Book Title: Collected Poetry and Prose

Author: Wallace Stevens

Book Description:

Ever since writing a senior thesis in college on Stevens and Walt Whitman, I have often returned to Stevens for pleasure, amusement, and the "consolations of philosophy." When it plays with language, Stevens' poetry approaches pure sound, or verbal music. When serious, Stevens engages issues that have, in part, mapped my understanding of the place of literature and art in the world: the Arnoldian substitution of literature for religion and the pressures of reality and the imagination against each other. Stevens' writing constantly surprises and enlightens, and I trust it will do so for a long time to come for many readers besides me. Pennsylvanians should be proud of their Reading-born native son—and read his work.

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