Location: toronto, Canada

Ready to hit the world with everything i got.....

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Anecdote of the Jar continued

In my last blog I wrote about the poem "Anecdote of the Jar" by Wallace Stevens. I got to a certain point in the poem that I wasn't sure exactly what to say about the poem, I had nothing. Today I returned to the same poem and found a few more interesting points that I believe I missed.
Firslty I believe that Stevens wants to outline that everything has its story. A jar has a story, a hat has its own story, in general everything living or not has a story to be told about where they came from, where they have been and where they come to rest for the time being. I also realized that there is only one line that rhymes throughout the poem and this line is placed as close to the middle as possible. The poem has no set rhyme scheme and is pretty much free verse. However at the same time there is some structure to the poem as Tennessee is written only in the first and last lines and is the last word in both sentences. That line that rhymes in the middle of the poem as mentioned earlier serves as a point of reminder that this is a poem trying to get a point across. The beginning of the poem seemes to be somewhat loose and random then we get to the middle and it has order only to go back to its original random thought. Maybe not random but instead struggling. The jar can only be a symbol of humans and if so there is a defininte struggle between nature and this jar. Still with that rhyming line in the middle and the line after it, "And tall and a port in air" there seems to be a dependance between nature and manking. Its as if there's a constant struggle throughout the poem between the two worlds and a dependance that binds the two. The struggle that exists between nature and humans cannot be won by either. Nature as proven many times has the ability to be devastating and humans have the ability to cut down trees for wood to heat their homes (years ago). So who's winning?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Anecdote of the Jar

I placed a jar in Tennessee
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The Wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

Wallace Stevens

Due to the lecture on Monday and our tutorial I have found an interest in the poetry of Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams. I find that knowing about the poets life in moderation always creates more curiousity and motivation to surround myself in his/her poems. A point that was interesting concerning the poems of Wallace Stevens are his subtle yet full titles, the poem I chose was no exception. "Anecdote of the Jar" is at first glance a strange title, one that begs further contemplation as the words anecdote and jar are usually not placed together in a sentence. An anecdote is mainly a short stroy dealing with a single incident as per Webster's dictionary. So what do we have so far? The story of the jar.
Another characteristic of Wallace Stevens is his undying devotion to finding or discovering beauty in unusual places or uncommon settings. In the first stanza the poems describes the placement of a round jar on a hill in Tennessee. Although I'm not sure of the significance of the setting of Tennessee the jar is able to make wilderness "surround that hill." It's funny how usually we don't notice a common surrounding or respect that surrounding until something is wrong with that environment. A jar in the middle of the wilderness accentuates the wilderness as this simple "bare and gray" object distort or alter our perception or view of an otherwise regular and typical place. Perhaps this is the significance of Tennessee, the fact that Tennessee is as ordinary and plain as any other place.
Wilderness is so fragile that by putting a jar on a hill it no longer can be described as wild. At the moment when wilderness itself is altered slightly or modified by the human hand it is no longer wild as or original as before. At the same time this jar placed on the ground on a hill would be the focal point of the vision. This jar takes "dominion" in that respect, that it owns our eyes and ultimatley our minds as we seek answers or solutions as to what is the purpose of the jar.
Personally I fail to see the beauty or meaning of this poem. I also with no avail, attempted to analyze the poem in terms of literary devices. But the image presented is intriguing to me and I know I will continue to think about this poem after I finish writing this blog.