Wallace Stevens in Hartford: Marjorie Perloff

Wednesday, October 10  —  Marjorie Perloff, Professor Emerita at Stanford University, distinguished scholar and literary critic, will speak on “’The Malady of the Quotidian’: From Wallace Stevens’ The Rock to Susan Howe’s The Quarry.”

We often think of Wallace Stevens’s poetry as being abstract and difficult, but, as another great Connecticut poet teaches us in her recent prose poem, The Quarry, Stevens has an uncanny sense of the everyday—especially the everyday of weather and seasonal change—of the bleak light and bare boughs of winter that, in this poet’s imagination, take on a special magic and unique perspective.  Howe’s own poem builds on citations and images from the late Stevens to create an equally imaginative—but also very different—personal landscape of memory and desire.  His “Vacancy in the Park” becomes her “Vagrancy in the Park”—a delicate and compelling transformation that makes us see Hartford’s Elizabeth Park and related sites anew.

3:00 p.m. at the Hartford Public Library.