He was a master stylist, employing an extraordinary vocabulary and a rigorous precision in crafting his poems. But he was also a philosopher of aesthetics, vigorously exploring the notion of poetry as the supreme fusion of the creative imagination and objective reality. Because of the extreme technical and thematic complexity of his work, Stevens was sometimes considered a willfully difficult poet. But he was also acknowledged as an eminent abstractionist and a provocative thinker, and that reputation has continued since his death.
Summary and Critical Analysis Sunday Morning is a meditative poem in which Stevens presents a woman who is frightened by the thought of death when she hears the church bells.
The poet initially appreciates the woman's rational thoughts as she refuses to accept the romantic fancies of the Christian afterlife and wants to make her life on this earth itself meaningful. Wallace Stevens But when the woman, however, seeks some kind of "imperishable bliss", the poet turns against her and begins to criticize her complacency.
In the criticism of the woman, we are also criticized because most of us are like her in that we fail to live up to our reasonable thoughts and philosophies and fall back to fail to live up to our reasonable thoughts and philosophies and fall back to the same traps of fantastic ideas given by our religions or myths.
In the first four stanzas, we see the woman rejoicing life, nature and its beauty: The poet suddenly interrupts this strain of the woman's meditation and begins to expound an opposite philosophy about the "beauty of death"!
Stevens has shown what place death has in being. In one sense, the poem is an argument with a woman who, on one Sunday Morning, is prompted to think of Christ's Wallace stevens critical essays death and of the heaven, which Christ opened to man by dying for him The poet mocks heaven and the attempt to abstract life from being and leave death behind.
Because life is such a good thing, death, upon which life depends, must also be a good thing for Stevens. The poem begins with an almost vague description of an aristocratic woman sitting in her garden on a Sunday morning and being happy for all the luxuries and happiness of life.
In the first stanza, we see that the complacencies of the rich life and the natural beauty of her surrounding dissipate "the holy hush of ancient sacrifice".
She dreams a little and she feels the interference of death in the process of life; but she finds the bright colors of beautiful things draw her attention again.
Though they all look, as if they are in a procession of death, there are overtones of rejoice for the beauty of life and nature. The poet's mediation on life, death, and change is presented through this description of the woman who prefers the world of the senses to "The holy hush of ancient sacrifice" associated with religious practice, but who is found later that she is not really sure that these can be satisfied with temporary delights.
In an imagined paradise, there is "no change of death", but only rivers that never reach the sea, ripe fruit never falls from trees; the images associated with religion and dreams of an afterlife are sinister and lifeless.
In some places, he deliberately uses archaic words and phrases to suggest that religious belief is out of date. Stevens's life- long conviction is that "poetry and poets must take the place of religion and priests to provide form and meaning for human life" which is implicit in the poem Sunday Morning.
The most important of the major theme of Stevens is the idea that human perception of beauty requires the realization that everything on earth is temporary. Everyone will die and everything will change; so we must recognize permanence as an illusion.
What is permanent is the changing cycle of life and death. Christianity, Hinduism, or any religion promising permanence, is false because it envisions a paradise that is something like our earth but without the inherent changes in earth's life and circumstance.
They are wish-words created without properly thinking whether they would be possible or even desirable! In fact, this physical world, an endless round of birth, death and the seasons, is more lasting than any interpretation of it.
Religion, myths, philosophies, and cultures are all fictions and pass away. To discover that there never has been any celestial world is a joyful liberation and the man says himself: Every passage in the poem is charged with the sense that one can experience beauty, can love a thing or person, only if he at the same time experiences the painful sense that the loss of that thing or person is inevitable, that its mortality is a quality immanent in its living presence.
The third stanza contrasts the pagan religions of the Greco-Roman world represented by Jove with the more democratic Christian religion.
The fourth stanza is a sweet but sad farewell to both the old pagan religions and Christianity; these are gone forever. In the fifth stanza, the thought of death again intrudes. She is now afraid of it; she is tempted by an everlasting 'bliss' for her individual self. At this point, the woman is suddenly revealed as the common type of individual after all!
She says that she needs an everlasting bliss. The poet reacts to her 'common falling back into the same trap' by saying that "Death is the mother of beauty! Beauty and Death were looked upon as sisters by the Romantics.Sunday Morning by Wallace Stevens: Summary and Critical Analysis Sunday Morning is a meditative poem in which Stevens presents a woman who is frightened by .
Critical essays on Wallace Stevens / Other Authors: Axelrod..
Critical essays on wallace stevens - Edwards entitled which came into Wallace's hands resulted in his suggesting to his friend Bates that they set themselves up as professional collectors of Natural History specimens to supply the needs of institutions and gentlemen naturalists. An Analysis of Wallace Stevens' Sunday Morning “Sunday Morning” by Wallace Stevens is a poem about a woman having a late breakfast and .
winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Collected Poems and the National Book Award for The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and the Imagination. Critical Sites | Biographical Sites | Other Sites Still Need More? Criticism about Wallace Stevens 'Beyond the Rhetorician's Touch': Stevens's Painterly Abstractions.
"Sunday Morning" is the first full presentation of Stevens's lifelong central motif, the search for a sustaining fiction. But the answers he provides . Critical essays on Wallace Stevens / [edited by] Steven Gould Axelrod, Helen Deese.