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his dress-up costumes and Masonic vestments

"…Like Swinburne, like Hart Crane, like Ashbery, Stevens is reduced by explanation. The incense of the words themselves can be so heady that readers swoon (you can see why, loving the effect, Blackmur was wary of the meaning). Such poets often seem translations of themselves—their poems might just as well be fanciful versions from Hungarian or Langue d’oc. If I prefer poems more complicated the more their effects are exposed (consider Eliot, or Lowell, or Hill—and think of Shakespeare), that is a preference armed as a prejudice. Stevens could write so well without recourse to his dress-up costumes and Masonic vestments (at times he seems decked out in the leavings of a theatrical trunk), it’s a pity that you have to wade through a great bog of minor work to get at poems that sharpen the responses of the imagination."

– William Logan, "The Sovereign Ghost of Wallace Stevens," http://poems.com/special_features/prose/essay_logan4.php

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