Comparing Stein, Wallace Stevens, And William Carlos Williams

Decent Essays
Modernism was a time for experimentation in the 20th century. Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams were just three of the influential poets of this literary period. They altered the typical literature form. These three poets each presented objects differently in their works, varying in syntax and diction. Whether they proposed these objects in abstract or specific in their writing, you can see how Stein, Stevens, and Williams differed. Stein was vastly complex, Stevens created depth in easier to understand terms, and Williams used colloquial language and was very specific. These three poets were important to the modernist movement and it’s easy to see how they bent the rules in the form of poetry. Gertrude Stein’s…show more content…
While he was considered abstract as well, he favored the form of imagism. In his poems, he would present direct and objective treatment of the objects. In his poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” he gives multiple ways to discuss the bird. He uses simple language that is very pastoral in its tone. Some of the reasons he gives in this poem are: “Among twenty snowy mountains, / The only moving thing/ Was the eye of the blackbird” (1-3). Another is “A man and a woman/ Are one. / A man and a woman and a blackbird/ Are one” (9-12). Even though Stevens’ diction can be considered abstract, he presents his objects in a less confusing manner. It is odd to look at a blackbird in thirteen different ways but all thirteen still make some sort of sense. Even though “The river is moving. / The blackbird must be flying,” is able to be distinguished. The river is moving because the blackbird is flying. (48-49) While the idea is abstract, it’s easy to follow. His “Anecdote of a Jar” presents the universe from the perspective of a jar. The jar is in “Tennessee/ And round it was, upon a hill” (3-4). He takes a visual turn when describing his objects. His jar seems to be able to look around it and “take dominion everywhere” (9). He treats objects without as much emotion as Stein. They’re described in simpler terms (compared to the confusion in “Tender Buttons”) whilst using elegant text. He describes a guitar in “The Man with the Blue Guitar.” His description of this object is distinguishable and yet the guitar is described as “Things as they are/ Are changed upon the blue guitar.” His object presents new change and meaning. Stevens uses specific terms when he’s describing his objects. He’s specific yet object in his descriptions, especially in a “Study of Two Pears.” He uses very bland language in his poem, saying the pears are “composed of curves” (6) and “are yellow forms” (5) that
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