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The Planet On The Table

Rating: 4.6

Ariel was glad he had written his poems.
They were of a remembered time
Or of something seen that he liked.

Other makings of the sun
Were waste and welter
And the ripe shrub writhed.

His self and the sun were one
And his poems, although makings of his self,

Were no less makings of the sun.
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Barry Middleton 25 December 2013

I should add the Ariel also calls to mind the Ariel of Shakespeare's The Tempest. There Ariel is a spirit, once trapped but freed to a new service to a new lord. The poet is a servant to imagination and to the world. So Ariel to me represents the soul of every poet and mostly to Stevens himself but there is definitely a reason why he chose that name.

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Barry Middleton 25 December 2013

I am no scholar but would not Stevens have been familiar with T.S. Eliot's Ariel Poems. I believe Stevens is definitely using Ariel to mean poet and himself but also there seems to be an allusion to Eliot. The second verse sounds Wasteland-ish. Both Eliot and Stevens can be very difficult to grasp, only half perceived. But certainly they also bring Some lineament or character, Some affluence, if only half-perceived... Of the planet of which they were part.

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Richard Benton 22 July 2013

Superb analysis by Gary Witt. Great job helping keep poetry alive. Stevens is amazing.

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William F Dougherty 24 April 2012

The Planet On the Table unlocks with two keys: Planet is Steven's Collected Poems; Ariel is the poet, Wallace Stevens.

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Ratnakar Mandlik 02 October 2016

A superb poem displaying a fantastic flight of imagery. Thanks for sharing.

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Clint Jones 31 August 2019

Stevens chases the muse (the power of the imagination) and the song she sings (The Idea of Order at Key West) . Ariel is the planet revolving around his muse, the sun. He hopes the muse recognizes his tribute to the creative force (Not ideas about the Thing, but The Thing Itself) .

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John Hamilton 17 September 2018

The ripe shrub writhed reminds me of the burning bush.

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Subhas Chandra Chakra 03 October 2016

His self and the sun were one And his poems, although makings of his self, Were no less makings of the sun. Nicely written. Thanks for sharing it with us.10 for it.

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Susan Williams 02 October 2016

Very imaginative! So much so that I am having difficulty deciphering this. I think it is about writing and writing creates its own planet... I will return to this when I have 2 brain cells working instead of one.

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Rajnish Manga 02 October 2016

To me the poet assumes the name of Ariel himself who writes about his poetry as a neutral observer or a critic. Lovely poem. Thanks. I would like to quote: His self and the sun were one / And his poems, although makings of his self / Were no less makings of the sun.

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