Wallace Stevens

United States poet (1879-1955)

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Democritus plucked his eye out because he could not look at a woman without thinking of her as a woman. If he had read a few of our novels, he would have torn himself to pieces.
Everything is complicated; if that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore.
Nothing could be more inappropriate to American literature than its English source since the Americans are not British in sensibility.
Poor, dear, silly Spring, preparing her annual surprise!
The imagination is man's power over nature.
The philosopher proves that the philosopher exists. The poet merely enjoys existence.
The poet is the priest of the invisible.
The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
They said, You have a blue guitar, you do not play things as they are. The man replied, Things as they are changed upon a blue guitar.
To be young is all there is in the world. They talk so beautifully about work and having a family and a home (and I do, too, sometimes) --but it's all worry and head-aches and respectable poverty and forced gushing. Telling people how nice it is, when, in reality, you would give all of your last thirty years for one of your first thirty. Old people are tremendous frauds.
To name an object is to deprive a poem of three-fourths of its pleasure, which consists in a little-by-little guessing game; the ideal is to suggest.
What our eyes behold may well be the text of life but one's meditations on the text and the disclosures of these meditations are no less a part of the structure of reality.
You can't depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus.

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