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Unformatted text preview: About the Poet Wallace Stevens was the literary anomaly the rather humdrum insurance company executive who, with the publication of a single volume, Harmonium, rose to dominance among American aesthetes, the seekers of beauty in art. Pervasive in his shimmering lines are a naturalism and awe that overstep the pessimism that stymied the postWorld War I generation. Long into his career, his officemates were surprised to learn that "Wally" was capable of writing such lush, elegantly textured poems, but the critical world had long ranked his verse within the growing modernist canon. Stevens earned respect from literary colleagues for whimsical ironies, skepticism, and the sensuous, ever- shifting intricacy of his vision. Stevens was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, on October 2, 1879, the son of teacher Margaretha Catherine Zeller and attorney Garrett Barcalow Stevens. He studied privately at St. John's Catherine Zeller and attorney Garrett Barcalow Stevens....
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- Fall '08