It was not Wallace Stevens' poem that affected me most when author was an undergrad studying American modernist poetry, but its title that was more captivating to me because it raised the question of imagination and reality in the same sentence. He wanted 'to interpret the external world of thought and feeling through the imagination'. He wrote in The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and the Imagination, 'The truth seems to be that we live in concepts of the imagination before the reason has established them'. The poem itself seemed to me not to live up to the grandiose promise of the title and yet it carried forward Stevens' philosophical orientation to reality and naturalism that accorded the imagination a central place. His mature work can be considered almost meditative and spiritual, and his poetry was highly abstract-a 'poetry of ideas'-where reality is considered an aspect of imagination in actively shaping the world.