The Idea of Order at Key West Themes

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Late in his career, in fact, a year before his death, Stevens was asked to define the major theme of his poetry. As quoted by Lucy Beckett in Wallace Stevens, Stevens wrote that there "are many poems relating to the interactions between reality and the imagination" but that these poems were marginal to the central theme of a supreme fiction. "The Idea of Order atKey West" explores both of these themes, though more explicitly it serves as a stage for the tension between human imagination and human realities. The questions the speaker asks get at the heart of this dialectic: Is the song and its power only an external reality? Or does the power of the song lie in one's ability to transform it into something personal?

In his poem, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," Stevens writes, "I do not know which to...

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This section contains 894 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Idea of Order at Key West Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Idea of Order at Key West from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.