Wallace Stevens

1879-1955

 

Wallace Stevens is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA.
 

Gravestone of Wallace Stevens (in the foregound)
Photograph by Linda Kazel

    N.B. the shells and other trinkets on top of the  gravestone have been left  by admirers.

Stevens was born in Reading in Pennsylvania and was educated at Harvard University and at the New York Law School. Between 1916-1955 Stevens worked as a lawyer for the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company where he later rose to the rank of Vice-President in 1934.

He frequently composed poems whilst walking the 2 miles from his home at 118, Westerly Terrace to his office at 690, Asylum Avenue. 

Stevens was in his forties when his first collection of poetry Harmonium was published. His other collections include: The Man with the Blue Guitar (1937), Notes Towards a Supreme Fiction (1942) and The Auroras of Autumn (1950). His collected poems appeared in 1954 - the year before his death.

Unlike his friend William Carlos Williams whose poems were largely about concrete things  - Stevens' poems were often meditations about ideas themselves. He only began to receive recognition shortly before he died. However, he is now widely regarded as one of the foremost US poets of the 20th century - credited with creating a body of highly-wrought, enigmatic poetry.

He died on August 2nd 1955 in St Francis Hospital, Hartford.

Stevens was survived by his wife and his daughter Holly; Holly later edited his letters for publication.

                          I
Among twenty snowy mountains
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

                        II
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

From Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Wallace Stevens Society

 

 


 

 

 
 
 
 

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