“Barone and Finnegan have collected poems that in various ways respond to, ponder, analyze, critique, imitate, and celebrate the poems of Wallace Stevens, and part of this book’s power is its range of different kinds of poetries: turning from some of the lighter, more subject-driven poems to the weightier, more musically sophisticated poems is part of the delight. Stevens is a very serious poet, even or especially when he is most playful, and, as he said to Williams early on, ‘a book is a very serious affair.’ This book honors its subject.”—James Longenbach, author, The Art of the Poetic Line and Draft of a Letter
“One cannot help but be impressed by the range of poets represented here. One will also be impressed by the variety of stances and sources of inspiration expressed in the poems. This is a strong and important volume whose purpose is clear and effective. I found it to be both engaging and rewarding.”—John Serio, editor, Wallace Stevens Journal
The poetry of Wallace Stevens has inspired generations of poets of every school. Here, for the first time, is assembled an astonishing variety of poems, by a full range of poets, inspired by Stevens’s life and work. In its own way, each poem exhibits the torque and feel of his poetry, yet each also is deeply personal and conveys how meaningful Stevens was and remains for poets and poetry.
Whether whimsical or serious, solemn or light, the poems in Dennis Barone and James Finnegan’s Visiting Wallace are sure to inspire delight and thought. Alan Filreis’s brilliant foreword asks us to consider whether there is another modern poet who means as much to contemporary verse as Stevens: “seventy-six poems giving us seventy-six distinct Stevenses to follow and succeed.”
John Ashbery, Paul Auster, John Berryman, Robert Bly, William Bronk, Robert Creeley, W. S. Di Piero, Annie Finch, Forrest Gander, Dana Gioia, Peter Gizzi, Edward Hirsch, Richard Howard, Susan Howe, Donald Justice, Ann Lauterbach, Robert Lowell, Paul Mariani, James Merrill, Marianne Moore, Adrienne Rich, Theodore Roethke, David St. John, Carl Sandburg, Ravi Shankar, Mark Strand, William Carlos Williams, and Charles Wright
No Sop, No Possum, No Jive
We must pit ourselves brutally,
testing the tar and pitch
of immaculate forefathers. Ditto, etc.
X-temporizing, scrounging luxuriously
as we climb intricate cobs, nipples
and rosy vellums inscribed with an oriole.
I see no further than this, though
I’ve been lower, into hell’s orifice;
popped back in like a rabbit!