The Man with the Blue Guitar
is a serial poem
. Its subject is the subject of much of Stevens' work: Creativity
To many this may seem an esoteric topic, and worth little consideration. An
impractical pursuit, worthy only of wastrels, or those too cowardly to face the world.
Yet, Wallace Stevens rose to senior positions in an insurance company--no small
task for a wastrel, or coward. And to great accolades for both his poetry, and his
He was a man to whom questions of creativity were not limited to the abstract, nor to
some small part of his life--it dominated all his life. The whole of harmonium was the
goal he set for his work. This he never realized, never could realize. It could only ever be a
work in progress.
The Man with the Blue Guitar can be considered notes he set
down, notes to himself, that he shares with us, on his lifelong inquiry. They are composed
in a kind of shorthand, that of a great intellect, and a great sensitive to the world in
which “The blue guitar/And I are one.”