The search for a substitute for religion, Adalaide Kirby Morris argues, occupies Stevens' poetic energy from his earliest to his latest work. It emerges in his patterns of speech, in his symbols, and in his poetic forms; it encompasses a critique of Christianity, often wryly humorous and sometimes bitterly satiric; and it results in a theory of poetry that becomes a mystical theology.
At the center of this mystical theology, the author finds, is the conviction that God and the imagination arc one. The study concludes that poetry provides for Stevens a sanction, a solace, a form of order, a source of delight, and a means of redemption through which men arc saved, and natural fact is transformed into divine force.
Originally published in 1974.
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