David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy in the Contemporary World 4 (3):1-5 (1997)
Confusing modern poetry with philosophy is a common fault of literary criticism. Yet, the work of some poets can benefit critically from philosophical interpretations. Wallace Stevens is a poet who manifested an abiding interest in philosophy. His poems consistently display, in both their syntax and modulation of thought, philosophical parallels. Stevens’ dominant mode of thought is phenomenological. This can be shown by analyzing parallels between phenomenological methodology and Stevens’ poetry. Particularly three poems---“Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” (1917), “The Snow Man” (1921), and “The Latest Freed Man” (1938)---embody, respectively, the poem as doing phenomenology, the poem as a description of the phenomenological mind, and the poem as a portrait of the phenomenologist
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