Friday, January 11, 2008

The Idea of Order at Key West

For several weeks in the last year of my undergrad, Wallace Stevens' poem "The Idea of Order at Key West" pretty much took over my conscious life, while I wrote an epic essay on it (and I will forever associate it with Cream's Greatest Hits, since I listened to nothing else whilst writing said paper--weird, huh?). When I told my prof how much I'd gone over the word limit, he sighed and said, "It better be good, Zach."

While I do believe that he was a genius, Stevens isn't really my kinda poet. Harold Bloom thinks he's the best Yank of the 20th C. and I can see why an academic critic would get all soppy for him (my prof was a huge fan, too). But I find most of his work leans too far, for my tastes, from the visceral into the cerebral. Still, TIoOaKW is a pretty damn incredible piece of writing. Hear me read it.

1 comment:

August said...

The Idea of Order at Key West is my all-time favourite poem. I've actually written several papers on it as the perfect paradigm for how to truly understand art in the digital age. If I ever get back into grad school it will probably be the cornerstone of my thesis.