Lecture 20 - Wallace Stevens (cont.)

introducer: Langdon Hammer, Department of English, Yale University
author: Marie E. Borroff, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: July 1, 2010,   recorded: April 2007,   views: 4224
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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Marie Borroff guest-lectures on Wallace Stevens's late seasonal poem, "The Auroras of Autumn." The poem is considered sequentially, beginning with Stevens's mythology of the three serpents in section one and concluding with an examination of the beauty of the world, as Stevens conceives of it, in sections eight through ten. The poet's optimism and fundamental belief in the power of imagination to divest death of its power is repeatedly demonstrated. The poem's final sections are shown to exemplify characteristically Stevensian conceptions of peace and happiness in the face of death.

Reading assignment:

Wallace Stevens: "Asides on the Oboe," "Phosphor Reading by His Own Light," "The Motive for Metaphor," "The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm," "The Auroras of Autumn"

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