I first read Wallace Stevens on a flight across the Atlantic. At the inhuman altitude of 40,000 feet, encased in one’s ears, hung up in the blue ennui, over the silver tessellations of the tedious ocean - what a sentence! One catches the infection of ‘The Comedian as the Letter C ’, as quick as measles:
Portentous enunciation, syllable To blessed syllable affined, and sound Bubbling felicity in cantilene, Prolific and tormenting tenderness O f music, as it comes to unison, Forgather and bell boldly Crispin’s last Deduction. Also the mood of Crispin’s pilgrimage
to drive away The shadow of his fellows from the skies, And from their stale intelligence released, To make a new intelligence prevail?