In The Idea of Order at Key West
, Wallace Stevens
, as is his almost compulsive pastime, is writing about the compulsion to write poetry
. For him, this is a universal activity, and represents the culmination of all creative activity--he could be talking about any creative work.
Coming after the line blessed rage for order, Stevens is chiding "pale" Ramon Fernandez who was, acoording to my university professor of modern poetry (a name I have, unfortunately, long forgotten) a literary critic; a name long lost to us, 'pale' in the light of Stevens poetic output--the whole of harmonium--and his critical work--The Necessary Angel.
Poetry is a destructive force. It is like the "jar" in the Anecdote of the Jar.
The maker brings order out of the chaos of the sea, in defiance of the laws of thermodynamics. Reading his poetry, particularly the best, as this is, will find, in the end, a chill of silent recognition of...."somthing rich and strange."