In his review of Paul Mariani's recently published biography ("The Whole Harmonium" Simon and Schuster, 2016) of Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), New Yorker Magazine critic Peter Schjeldahl exudes awe and admiration for "The Idea of Order at Key West":
"It may the finest American modern poem....(It gets my vote, with perfectly paced beauty that routinely squeezes tears from me.)"
Schjledahl could not have said it better.
I dedicated my Columbia University master's thesis on John Milton's Samson Agonistes with these concluding lines from the poem:
Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon,
The maker's rage to order words of the sea,
Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred,
And of ourselves and of our origins,
In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.
You must hear Stevens recite the poem in its entirety!!!