Highway 61 Re-Revisited

The Anecdote of the Jar

… by Wallace Stevens

 

I placed a jar in Tennessee,

And round it was, upon a hill.

It made the slovenly wilderness

Surround that hill.

 

The wilderness rose up to it,

And sprawled around, no longer wild.

The jar was round upon the ground

And tall and of a port in air.

 

It took dominion everywhere.

The jar was gray and bare.

It did not give of bird or bush,

Like nothing else in Tennessee.

 

I discovered the lovely poem in Kai Hammermeister’s book ‘The German Aesthetic Tradition’ (p. 180) . His writing is wonderfully clear. In a note he also thanks Richard Rorty for having pointed out the poem. 

Download the book here.

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