Elizabeth Bishop, Randall Jarrell, and the Lost World of Real Feeling
Contribution to Book
The Cambridge History of American Poetry
Wallace Stevens's poem makes a greater claim: the earth is held as the object of his perfect and compulsory love. His loathing of things as they are points to the future modernist's need to transform them through the projection of his imagination. Notably missing from his list of consolations is religion itself, although he was still taking communion. In the early journal entry already cited, Stevens defined his five consolations namely love, nature, friendship, work and phantasy. Each was posited on the foundation of physical well-being, there being nothing good in the world except it. By the time he wrote Yellow Afternoon, Stevens seemed to possess the consolations only of nature and phantasy. Stevens's renewed romanticism, always followed by its accompanying disavowals and reconstitutions, evolving into his own amassing grand poem and marking his unique testimony to modernism in the last century.
"Elizabeth Bishop, Randall Jarrell, and the Lost World of Real Feeling."
The Cambridge History of American Poetry, Stephen Burt and Alfred Bendixen (Ed.): 775-794 New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
doi: 10.1017/CHO9780511762284.038 isbn: 9781107003361