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Stevens a Study of the Two Pears

Stevens a Study of the Two Pears

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Published by: ana_maria_nichita5708 on May 19, 2009
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03/26/2015

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Student: Ana-Maria Nichita3
rd
group, 3
rd
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.
1
 The first stanza starts with the Latin expression “Opusculum paedagogum”
2
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)
3
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)
4
. 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.
 
The word “Study” can be interpreted as an art of words or as an art review. The pears arein Stevens mind the image of the ideal art, of an ideal existence. It is a closed relationship between reality and imagination, as the everydayness is transformed into art trough imagination.In the poem
Study of the two pears
this relation is marked by the two visions of the ideal – the poet’s vision of the pears and the vision of the readers which is also lead by Stevens. The juxtaposition of images such as “viols”, “nudes”, or “bottles” that have least relationship with pears invokes readers’ imagination – pears are nothing but pears and here the image of thesefruits is the image he sees trough his imagination in front of the painting. The poet combinesconventional meanings with familiar objects in order to describe the two pears: “The shadows of the pears/ Are blobs on the green cloth” (21-22)
5
.
 The detailed language description of pears in the following stanzas gives us a vivid picture which imposes strong visual effect on the “observer” in what concerns the shape, color,outline and resemblance derived from painting. They seem to appear with uncharacteristic "bitsof blue" (14) and "glistens with various yellows, / Citrons, oranges and greens“ (17-18).The appearance of color images, such as “blue”, “green” and “yellow” makes the pearslook very different, from a different point of view, like a sculpture created by an artist seen fromdifferent perspectives. Actually the poet contemplates a painting and tries then to recreate theimage he sees. Within its language the poet and reader are elevating to a state of transcendence,transforming perception into words.Stevens’ language is common but the combination he makes is unexpectable; the realityis for Stevens made of physical elements and imagination. He makes connections with commonobjects in order to stress the beauty of the image he perceives and wants to describe for hisreaders.
 A study of the two pears
is one of the cases when the poet is crossing the reality troughhis own imagination and tries to convince his reader to make this too. We are speaking about themodernity era when the authors either tried to remain deeply into the reality, either tried toescape from the reality trough their imagination like Stevens did.
 
 

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