Wallace Stevens: Harmonium

(3422 words)

Although Wallace Stevens began writing poetry seriously around the beginning of the century, when he was a student at Harvard, Harmonium (1923) was his first collection of poems, which he published at the age of forty-four. Despite being heavily influenced by English Romanticism and the French symbolists, the poems in the volume nevertheless represent a serious attempt to forge a distinctively American voice, an American vernacular for poetry both in themes and poetic diction. It collects seventy-four poems of various metres, from the short, four-line poem “To the Roaring Wind” to the long, six-section “The Comedian as the Letter C”, most of which had been already published between 1914 and 1923 in various magazines. Most …

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Jiménez Muñoz, Antonio José. "Harmonium". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 October 2012
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=4849, accessed 26 September 2016.]