Wallace Stevens Speaks To His Readers, His Rival Poets Poem by Dennis Ryan

Wallace Stevens Speaks To His Readers, His Rival Poets



Sunday afternoon, March 10,2019 at 1: 13 p.m.; Sunday afternoon, May 17,2020; May 12,2022

'We say God and the imagination are one...
How high that highest candle lights the dark.'
- Wallace Stevens, 'Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour'

We can only write what we know about
or imagine. We own our experiences:
they pervade everything, filter the imagination.
I wrote 'Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour'
in old age. I couldn't have written it earlier
had I wanted to—I needed the experience
of loneliness, of old age, the knowledge
'which arranged the rendezvous' before
I could imagine wrapping us in a shawl,
before I could imagine that highest candle swelling
the darkness, within whose light we all dwell.
No one else could have written this poem.
No one. No reason, then, to envy me for it.

Thursday, May 12, 2022
Topic(s) of this poem: creativity,writing,envy,old age
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
Wallace Stevens wrote some of his greatest poems after age 70, and to a point was the envy of other poets of his time down to our own.
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Dennis Ryan

Wellsville, New York
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