Letters of Wallace Stevens by Wallace Stevens, Holly Stevens, Richard Howard

By Wallace Stevens, Holly Stevens, Richard Howard

Long unavailable, now in paperback for the 1st time, those are the intense, sophisticated, illuminating letters of 1 of the nice poets of the 20 th century. Stevens's recognized criterion for poetry—"It should still supply pleasure"—informed his epistolary aesthetic in addition; those letters stimulate one's urge for food for poetry as they valorize the mind's eye and the senses. additionally they supply interesting glimpses of Stevens as kinfolk guy, assurance govt, gourmet, and friend.

FROM THE BOOK:"Next to the fervour flower i like fuchsias, and no kidding. . . . Down one of the Pennsylvania Germans there has been a race of younger males . . . who carved willow lovers. those males may take somewhat willow stick a few foot lengthy, peel it and with not anything greater than a jackknife carve it into whatever that seemed like a memento of Queen Anne's underwear. the difficulty that somebody took to invent fuchsias makes me consider those willow enthusiasts. but it is a gloomy and dreary day this present day and who am I to be frivolous below such circumstances."—from a letter to Wilson Taylor, August 20, 1947

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I confess that I cannot tell whether it was 407 or 409 \Valnut Street. I think you will agree when you sec these houses that they are far above the average of houses in Reading of that period. " During the 1 94o's Stevens spent a good deal of time in tracing genealogy; his interest is reflected, not only in the several hundred letters that have been omitted here owing to their limited interest, but in many of the poems written at that time, particularly those in Tramport to Sunnner. " 2 Blandina in "Analysis of a Themc"3 and Jacomyntje in "Extraordinary Rcferences"4 arc also figures from the genealogy.

Knopf, Inc. TL Editor April 3 t7 34 To Eleanor Stevens Sauer TL Editor April 4 TL Editor April 1 3 736 To Jose Rodriguez Feo TLS Editor April 24 737 To \Villiam Van O'Connor TLS O'Connor April 25 738 To Barbara Church ALS Editor April 2 7 t735 To Oscar T. Stager 739 To Norman Holmes Pearson TLS Pearson May 1 8 740 To Thomas McGreevy TLS McGreevy June I 741 To Victor Hammer TLS Hammer June 2 74' To Barbara Church TLS Editor June 1 3 743 To Donald Hall TLS Hall June 28 744 To Barbara Church TLS Editor July 1 7 745 To Herbert \Veinstock TLS Knopf August 1 1 TL Editor August 1 4 747 To Jose Rodriguez Feo TLS Editor August 1 5 7 48 To Barbara Church TLS Editor August 16 TL August t746 To Paule Vidal t749 To Renato Poggioli Editor 750 To Thomas McGreevy TLS McGreevy 7 5 1 To Barbara Church TLS Editor 23 August 25 September 1 8 t752 To Delmore Schwanz TL Editor October t753 To Emma Stevens Jobbins TL Editor October I I 754 To Bernard Heringman TLS Heringman 755 To Gilben: Montague TLS New 756 To Thomas McGreevy TLS McGreevy November TL November tague(Berg t757 To Paule Vidal 758 To Bernard Heringman t759 To Henri Amiot October York-Mon- Editor 9 IJ October 27 5 lJ TLS Heringman November 2 1 TL November 2 2 Editor 76o To Richard Eberhart TLS Dartmouth December I 76 1 To Sister M.

7 A little lady as busy as a broker, who is cruel to the flies, a little pale 1 Stevens was visiting his paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Barcalow Stevens, who had gone to J i,·e at Ivyland with her daughter's family after the death of her hus­ band, Benjamin Ste\·ens, in 1894. 2 Isaac Bennet. 3 1\faria Stevens Bennet, sister of Stevens' father, wife of Isaac. • Ste,·cns' first cousin, Emma Linda Bennet, daughter of Isaac and Maria. Born in 1 865, she was fourteen years older than \Vallace. 0 Possibly the no\'Cl [_ucile, by Owen Meredith (Edward Robert Bulwer, Earl of Lytton) .

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