Helen Vendler – A. Kingsley Porter University Professor, Harvard University

Vendler spoke about motion in the poetry of Wallace Stevens.

She says; “Nobody but Stevens would call a poem ‘Life is Motion.’ And nobody, later in life, would write another poem called ‘Chaos in Motion And Not in Motion.’” Vendler tracked the flux of poems where both nature and human beings reveal changes of motion and emotion in Stevens’ thought and language. His favorite natural symbol for our minds in motion is the weather; and of our life, he says:

It is not in the premise that reality
Is a solid. It may be a shade that traverses
A dust, a force that traverses a shade.


The Inaugural Lincoln Kirstein Lecture was presented by The Center for Ballet and the Arts.

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