One poet whose work you can really appreciate is Wallace Stevens. Even though his poetry contains very complex and lyrical vocabulary and his work is symbolic in content, a reader can still find ways to really enjoy the poems. Stevens seems to be almost musical in his work. The poems I have read pay much attention to the sound and arrangement of words. On the other hand, I find Stevens work to be somewhat bizarre. It is a style of writing that will confuse the reader.
The reader may not understand each and every poem because he uses such a variety of poetic techniques. Some of the techniques he uses are alliteration In reading Robert Wrigleys work Making Music of Sense he believes that when poetry strays too far from music, it atrophies. This of course does not pertain to the works of Wallace Stevens. One of the most interesting and true statements is Wrigleys comment And I ought to admit how many poems there are that I love, whose meaning eludes me, or defies me, mostly does. I would have to say that I can honestly relate to and agree with that statement. This made me feel better because in reading the selected poems by Stevens a number of them are enjoyable to read, however; an easy translation eludes or defies me. The poem The Emperor of Ice-Cream is one of those poems which seems like it is more about sounds than it is sense.
Instantly as this poem begins to unfold the reader is drawn in by the very first lines. Initially you are not sure of In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.(1-3) The lines themselves seem lyrical and in the third line the reader can be caught up in the poets use of alliteration. This is because it is almost flowing along like the lyrics of a song. There are other such lines in the poem where Stevens uses playful alliteration. He also repeats the somewhat lighthearted line that The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream. After reading the poem over several times the reader can come to a better understanding and form his or her interpretation. On the surface the poem is about the wake of a poor old woman, however; if examined more deeply the reader could sense a deeper meaning. The very ordinary commonfolk mourners are not as interested in the dead woman as they are concerned with their own wants and desires.
Nick Selby For the American poet Gary Snyder the poem is a work-place. The idea of work, I shall argue throughout this paper, is central to Snyder's ecological poetics because it allows him to throw explicit attention on to the act of 'writing the land'. This is clear from his well- known environmental concerns, and his work with various ecological projects in America since the sixties. Critics ...
There is very little description of the dead woman thereby denoting her unimportance. On that same note the ice-cream mans importance is shown by making him an emperor. The woman and her surroundings appear to be rather unpleasant as though they are reminders of the everyday life The next poem is Nomad Exquisite which is again musical in nature and elusive to interpretation. This poem seems to be lyrical without hidden morals or value judgments being passed along. Stevens language in this particular poem uses a variety of poetic techniques such as alliteration, symbolism, and personification. He also uses various hues of colors to capture the moment and the beauty of the land.
The immense dew of Florida and its land is pure, refreshed and inspired much as the Nomad himself. This beauty: And gold sides of green sides,…(6-9).
In conclusion, the poems of Wallace Stevens draw the reader in with their lyrical sounds. His poetry is enjoyable although it can not always be easily interpreted. I, as a reader, struggled with this idea, but according to Wrigley: …although Im interested in the gloss, what he tells me the poem says is never as beautiful as its saying. Being lost in the sound of it is always better.