Wallace Stevens: Sunday Morning

(2319 words)
  • Neil Forsyth (Université de Lausanne )

Widely regarded as one of the greatest poems of the twentieth century, “Sunday Morning” meditates on the relation between religious belief and the pleasures of nature. Wallace Stevens was an American who spent most of his life, when not writing poetry, as an insurance lawyer in Hartford, Connecticut. This poem appeared in a shorter version, with its stanzas edited and rearranged by Harriet Monroe, in Poetry for November 1915, and in the form we now read in Harmonium, Stevens’ first book of poems, in 1923. It begins by imagining a woman staying home in her peignoir on a Sunday morning, enjoying her “coffee and oranges in a sunny chair”, and yet irresistibly thinking, or day-dreaming, about the Christian religion …

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Forsyth, Neil. "Sunday Morning". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 May 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=33188, accessed 28 September 2016.]