By Edward Clarke (auth.)
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Extra resources for The Later Affluence of W. B. Yeats and Wallace Stevens
In Chapter 2, which traces the late development of Stevens from Transport to Summer, published in 1947, to his very last poems, I discover a different kind of irony, with the help of Heidegger, and another relationship with Wordsworth. We follow Stevens’s rivers as I explore the role that chance has to play when his work corresponds with earlier poems. Chapter 3 focuses on Yeats’s ‘Cuchulain Comforted’, drawing in his own earlier engagements with the Cuchulain story, with the help of Maurice Blanchot, and then the 34 The Later Affluence of W.
B. Yeats and Wallace Stevens © Edward Clarke 2012 36 The Later Affluence of W. B. Yeats and Wallace Stevens At the beginning of ‘The Tower’, the speaker does not share, but wishes upon himself, the predicament of Coleridge in ‘Dejection: an Ode’. Prompted by an old-fashioned prognosis based on a phase of the moon, as well as Wordsworth’s ‘Ode’, Coleridge dwells on his afflictions. They not only ‘rob me of my mirth’, but suspend ‘what nature gave me at my birth’: My shaping spirit of Imagination.
Behind Stevens’s ‘What mattered was’ in ‘The Planet on the Table’, what matters, what is important, is the Latin obtrusion, materia: the building material that can bear, the stuff of which poems are made, the language that is ‘vitally metaphorical’ because it bears ‘the before unapprehended relations of things’ (Shelley Prologue: ‘Of the planet of which they were part’ 33 2003: 676). Of what is this matter? In philosophical use, matter is in contradistinction to mind or to form, although matter is also subject matter.