Student: Ana-Maria Nichita3
year, Romanian majorInstructor: Emilia PostolacheAmerican LiteratureMarch 25, 2009
Language in Wallace Stevens’ Poem“A Study of the Two Pears”
Study of the two pears
is representative for the Modernity mostly because of the languageused and because of the association of reality with imagination which creates interesting imagesin our minds, transforming the poet’s own perception into words.The language is used in a very ambiguous way; combining Latin idioms and commonlanguage, the image of the painting appears as taken from the poet’s imagination. The poem is adefinition of the two pears but the image which the poet creates is a combination between the physical world and his own imagination, transforming everydayness in art.
The first stanza starts with the Latin expression “Opusculum paedagogum”
and speaksabout what the pears are not and then states, in the second stanza, what the pears are. Thenegation leads us to an affirmative idea, in the end the image of the pears being the image of what the poet wants to show us, raising in our mind the image of what pears are trough the poet’seyes: “The shadows of the pears/ Are blobs on the green cloth./ The pears are not seen/ As theobserver wills.”(21-24)
The language used seems to be formal and structured because of the first Latin verse andthe stated definition seems ironical but the poet’s sense of world is seen as the world itself:“They are yellow forms”(5)
. When saying that the pears are “forms”, Stevens may refer to thatfact that the observer is the only one who can see what pears really are. Stevens may consider himself as being the original observer who is the only one who sees the essence of the observedobject, which in this poem is the pear itself. The poet is in front of a painting and the poem is theresult of his imagination.