Winter 1964 • Vol. XXVI No. 1 Nonfiction |

The Planetary Poet

I. ONE AMPLE MAN CAN SUPPORT TWO LIVES AND APPOINT TWO CALENDARS FOR THEM Congratulations to The Kenyon Review for keeping the course, even with augmented bravery, and now after twenty-five years presenting to its increasing public a 100th issue. For this occasion Mr. Macauley requires of me, and of some others who were associated in our old and happy gang, some sort of prose piece or poem. As I considered, the desire grew upon me to gather and put into order some observations that have been long going through my mind concerning the poetry of Wallace Stevens; that is to say, the poetry of a major poet whose magnitude has been dawning only gradually upon us. When I was editor he sent us three important poems, of that brilliant longer kind which he developed, each big enough to have many numbered parts; the parts not bothering to be uniform in design necessarily, and not always consecutive logically. We published every one of them as fast as we could. The poems were "Variations on

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