Tuesday, September 12, 2023

"Anecdote of the Jar" by Wallace Stevens

Anecdote of the Jar

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

Source of the text - Wallace Stevens, Harmonium.  New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1923, page 112.

TJB: Iambic anecdata. In short, declarative sentences, the poem posits the wild isn’t truly wild until a tame thing is placed. Is the poem a jar?

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