WALLACE STEVENS [1879–1955] American poet, born in Reading, PA,
educated at Harvard and New York Law School. After 1916 he was associated with the Hartford Accident
& Indemnity Company, and from 1934 until his death he served as vice president. A master of
exquisite verse, Stevens was specifically concerned with creating some shape of order in the
“slovenly wilderness” of chaos. These ideas are expressed in his earliest volume, Harmonium (1923),
which collected many of his best known poems: “Sunday Morning,” "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,"
"The Emperor of Ice Cream," and "The Snow Man." His ideas are developed in the
subsequent volumes: Ideas of Order (1936); The Man with the Blue Guitar (1937); Parts of the World
(1942); Transport to Summer (1947), which includes the long poem “Notes toward a Supreme Fiction,”
in which Stevens elaborates on the poet's role in creating the fictions necessary to transform and
harmonize the world; The Auroras of Autumn (1950); The Necessary Angel, essays (1951); Collected Poems
(1954, awarded the Pulitzer Prize); and Opus Posthumous (1957).