Wallace Stevens: Imaginative Metamorphosis

When I read several poems of Wallace Stevens, I found them difficult to understand mainly because of his choice of words. It is not easy to grasp the meaning of Stevens’ poems in an instant, but there is a certain kind of lyricism that is evident in his poems: his style includes repetition of words or phrases and incorporation of sounds (assonance and alliteration) that renders the poems pleasurable when read aloud. I came to like more his later poems, in which they showcase the creative power of the poet’s mind. The Stevensian poetry employs diversity in form, style, melody, and feelings.

Most of his poems are written in free verse, and there are wide variations of rhythm in his poetry collection. Most of his poems deals about human relationships, poems about nature, artistic imaginations, ephemeral quality of human life (as shown in the poem “The Emperor of Ice-Cream”) or anything that is moral, philosophical or even religious in nature.

Wallace Steven’s poems are meant to be spoken aloud, the very feel of words in his poems in one’s mouth is pleasurable. Take for example, the alliterations in the poem, The Emperor of Ice- Continue reading