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Wallace Stevens



Jan. 25, 1951 reading at the 92nd Steeet Y in New York
Stevens reads from "Credences of Summer" and "An Ordinary Evening in New Haven"
(31:32): 92Y public link
[A higher quality reading from "Credences of Summer" can be found here MP3(12:47)]
PennSound restricted archive link

The PennSound/Woodberry Poetry Room Wallace Stevens Audio Project

PennSound is pleased to present recordings of Wallace Stevens made for the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University, by permission of the Houghton Library's Woodberry Poetry Room (pictured below), and with special thanks to Susan Pyzynski, Peter Steinberg, David Ackerman, Don Share, and especially Christina Davis (Director of the Woodberry); and Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. & the Estate of Wallace Stevens.

1952 Reading at the New Lecture Hall, Harvard

This recording was made on May 1, 1952, during Stevens' reading in the New Lecture Hall, now called the Lowell Lecture Hall. The original recording is in two tape reels, housed at the Woodberry Poetry Room, Lamont Library, Harvard.

1. Introduction by Richard Wilbur (3:32): MP3
2. A Pastoral Nun (1:34): MP3
3. Credences of Summer (13:41): MP3
     alternate recording of "Credences of Summer" (13:05): MP3
4. Large Red Man Reading (1:58): MP3
5. This Solitude of Cataracts (1:57): MP3
6. In the Element of Antagonisms (1:20): MP3
7. Puella Parvula (2:00): MP3
8. To an Old Philosopher in Rome (7:32): MP3
9. Two Illustrations That the World Is What You Make of It (2:01): MP3
10. Vacancy in the Park (1:11): MP3
      alternate recording of "Vacancy in the Park" MP3
11. The Poem That Took the Place of a Mountain (1:36): MP3
      alternate recording of "The Poem That Took the Place of a Mountain"MP3
12. The World Is Larger in Summer (2:02): MP3
13. Prologues to What Is Possible [second section] (2:38): MP3
14. Looking Across the Fields and Watching the Birds Fly (4:35): MP3
15. Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour (2:55): MP3

1954 Readings at the Trans-Radio Recording Studio, Boston

This recording was made at the Trans-Radio Recording Studio in Boston over the course of two recording sessions, the first on October 8, 1954; the second at a later but unknown date. The recording was made on two reels divided as follows: reel 1, all poems, including "The Auroras of Autumn" parts 1-5; reel 2, only "The Auroras of Autumn," parts 6-10. (Note: It is not certain that the division of poems recorded at the two sessions coincides with the division of the two reels, which are housed at the Woodberry Poetry Room.)

1. [Now it is September]* (0:18): MP3
2. The Dwarf (1:50): MP3
3. This Solitude of Cataracts (2:27): MP3
4. The Woman in Sunshine (1:16): MP3
5. The Green Plant (1:35): MP3
6. The Poem That Took the Place of a Mountain (1:39): MP3
7. Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour (2:11): MP3
8. How to Live, What to Do (2:02): MP3
9. To the One of Fictive Music (3:48): MP3
     alternate recording of "To the One of Fictive Music" (3:53): MP3
10. Not Ideas about the Thing But the Thing Itself (2:04): MP3
11. The Auroras of Autumn** (24:33): MP3
     alternate recording of "The Auroras of Autumn" (23:13): MP3

*This 18-second recording is a false start on "The Dwarf."
**Parts VI-X of "Auroras of Autumn" were recorded on a second reel.

1954 Reading at the YMHA Poetry Center, New York

1. The Idea of Order at Key West (4:52): MP3
     alternate recording of "The Idea of Order at Key West" MP3
2. Not Ideas About the Thing But the Thing Itself (1:33): MP3
3. Infanta Marina (1:09): MP3
4. Fabliau of Florida (0:48): MP3
5. Bantams in Pine-woods (0:52): MP3
6. Nomad Exquisite (0:53): MP3
7. Indian River (0:45): MP3

other poems

1. So and So Reclining on Her Couch
2. The Idea of Order at Key West
3. The Life of a Poet (a prose note)
4. The Theory of Poetry (a prose note)
5. Infanta Marina
6. Fabilau of Florida
7. Bantams in Pine-Woods
8. Nomad Exquisite
9. Less and Less Human, O Savage Spirit
10. From an Ordinary Evening in New Haven (Sections I, IX, XI, XII)
11. Final Soliolquy of the Interior Paramour
23. Not Ideas About the Thing But the Thing Itself

PoemTalk #14, discussing Stevens' "Not Ideas About the Things but the Thing Itself," February 3, 2009

Listen to the complete recording and read program notes for the episode at Jacket2.

more Wallace Stevens on PennSound:

1. Stevens on PennSound Daily
2. Susan Howe on Stevens
4. Robert Duncan, in memoriam Wallace Stevens
5. Jack Spicer on Stevens as a serial poet

Wallace Stevens on PennSound Daily

These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to Peter Hanchak. (c)2010 by the estate of Wallace Stevens. Used with permission of Peter Hanchak. Distributed by PennSound. We at PennSound are grateful to Peter Hanchak, grandson of Wallace Stevens, for his permission to make this material widely available. We also wish to thank our colleagues at Harvard's Woodberry Library, in particular Christina Davis, for their help with the recordings in the archive there; and John Serio.