Harmonium. Wallace Stevens.
Harmonium.
Harmonium.
Harmonium.
Harmonium.
Harmonium.
(Stevens, Wallace)

Harmonium.

NY: Knopf, 1931. Second edition, third binding. This edition contains fourteen new poems, while dropping three from the original edition. The complete printing of the second edition consisted of 1,500 copies, which were bound over a period of thirteen years. This copy is inscribed by Stevens on a preliminary blank. The inscription reads: "The basis of poetry is response" and is dated "Sept. 14, 1943." If one could condense Stevens's particular approach to literary creation into a single sentence, this could certainly be it. For Stevens, the pursuit of the real in poetry -- his Supreme Fiction -- is rooted in its immediacy: "Part of the res itself and not about it. / The poet speaks the poem as it is, / Not as it was." Poetry, in Stevens's view, is language used in response to life as it is lived, making this an extraordinary inscription. Stevens signed very infrequently, and inscriptions appear even less often. As a basis for comparison, the Neville copy of this edition, which sold in 2004, was signed ten days after Pearl Harbor and contained a single sentence inscription about war. This is a fine, bright copy in cloth-backed pale blue boards and with the dust wrapper, which is toned along the spine, has a nearly invisible split along the front fold, and has a chip in the upper left corner of the front panel. Item #22241

(Edelstein A.1.b).

Price: $8,000.00

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