Yvor Winters, “The Slow Pacific Swell”

Neil Forsyth (Université de Lausanne)
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Yvor Winters’s chosen home was Los Altos, near Stanford University, where he taught. He wrote many poems that take some part of California as their setting, and even sometimes their topic. In “On A View of Pasadena From the Hills” (1931) he recalls that he spent his childhood there in what is now “suburb after suburb”, though the vast ravines of the landscape are still visible. He contrasts the sage brush as it used to break down “to powdered ash, the sift of age” with what he now sees: “Mowed lawn has crept along the granite bench”. But “the naked salty shore” is still visible, “rank with the sea, which crumbles evermore.”

In one of his best-known and most characteristic poems, “The Slow Pacific Swell” (also 1931), Winters thinks through what the presence

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Citation: Forsyth, Neil. "“The Slow Pacific Swell”". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 April 2015 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35626, accessed 30 May 2024.]

35626 “The Slow Pacific Swell” 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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