Domination Of Black By Wallace Stevens Summary

Better Essays
In writing “Domination of Black”, Wallace Stevens creates a sensory vortex, forcing the reader to challenge the relationship between perception and reality. By disrupting conventional situational comprehensibility, Stevens forces the reader to look beyond what they are immediately able to recognize in order to get to the innate insubstantiality of “reality”
In creating a mirrored structure Stevens does not allow the reader to escape the sense of being overwhelmed but rather continues throwing them back into the experience. There is no better word to describe this poem other than an experience, in which everything the reader thinks they understand will be flipped. The first and last stanzas end with the same eerie phrase, “And I remembered the cry of the peacocks”(10), and begin with equal number of syllables in the opening line. The last stanza directly mimics
…show more content…
If that is the case, Stevens creates yet another juxtaposition between the nothingness as described by the black, and the overwhelming everything described in the poem. Though we may think the dominating factor would be the sensory overload, as we reach the end, we must come to terms with the nothingness that is behind all of the other images. When each substantial thing in the poem is examined, all of it is temporary- living things, structures, forces of nature- and the one permanent thing that dominates beyond all is the innate lack of anything substantial. The poem ends on an action as the speaker “remembered the cry of the peacocks” (36)- a passive action without any substance behind it. The final thought of the poem is, simply put, a thought- that has no form or substance which we might use to classify the thing as being real. The ending “reality” of the poem is a sound, an emotion, a thought. The simple reality we sought out at the start of the poem ends with a purely an unquantifiable

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    We Wear The Mask Analysis

    • 748 Words
    • 3 Pages

    In Dunbar’s rondeau, the repetitive line is “We wear the mask” (1). On one hand, it hides its central issue: not even once does it mention blacks or racial prejudice. In other words, the poem itself wears a mask. On the other hand, it openly parades Dunbar's feelings as a frustrated black across the page. In the end, this is a poem that conceals everything and reveals everything at one and the same time.…

    • 748 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The narrator reaches the mundane pits of reality before she loses herself and ascends into the energy above. Said character explains her struggle to reach serenity and quietude. Throughout the poem, she is manifesting the reality within lack of control over consciousness, the eternity of creativity, and the personality each infinity has within every living being in the universe. Multiple personalities and lack of sense of reality enhance the poems and the definition of art by embracing relativity and a personal mystery simultaneously. The narrator’s second personality feels the energy above is subjective and suitable for all who reach for it.…

    • 1568 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    / Or does it explode?” (Hughes 9-11). These lines are set apart from the rest of Hughes’ pondering, each in its own way. For example, “Maybe it just sags / like a heavy load” (Hughes 9-10) is the one and only declarative statement to be found in the poem. Consequently, even though it includes the qualifier “maybe,” it conveys a bit more weight than the questioning of possibilities found above it. In these lines, “Harlem (Dream Deferred)” suggests that, rather than die, perhaps an unrealized dream simply sags heavy at the side of the dreamer, adding weight to life’s baggage and difficulty to its journey.…

    • 560 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Looper believes the paradoxes within the poem are not working in relation to the painting, but working to implode the poem and make it incomprehensible to the reader and himself. (451). The reality of the poem is that poem still exists and readers find meaning despite confusions, nullifying possibility of a neat answer to this poem. Likewise, Davidson views the paradoxes and subordinate syntax as an attempt to defer closure (75). These perspective looks at the poem outside of the context of the painting when the two exists symbiotically.…

    • 1272 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    A void boundless as a nether sky. I hand by the twisted roots of an oak, looking down into immensity…I pause in my tracks, puzzled” (Gardner 157). This vision symbolizes Grendel’s unimportant life, which was expressed by the Dragon. Despite being conscious of the void of eternity that renders his life meaningless, he still clings to the idea of individuality from this abyss and nature itself. While the vision illustrates Grendel’s unimportance, it can also be perceived as his own mortality.…

    • 1127 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Who Are You?”, she indicates a struggle between pure Nobodies and pure Somebodies. In the poem, she herself identifies as “Nobody” in both the first line and in the question “Are you – Nobody – too?” (Dickinson 2). Through this she indicates that there is another Nobody that exists with her in Line 3 of her poem, in which she states, “Then there’s a pair of us!” Given the tone of these…

    • 803 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Throughout the poem, there is one constant repetition. This is the 2 headlines placed in bold at the end of each stanza. This, however, is different in the last stanza, where there is a reference to another poem “the instant tits and bottom line of art”. The actual poems idea that is referenced is that poetry is not talking about the high end of humans, instead of in poetry one only looks at the messy aspects of human existence. Whilst in the poem, this is a reference to show that in today’s society, in poetry we only show the good and high end of society but we should be showing the messy and unsightly aspects of humans instead, just like the speaker’s headlines expose all things wrong in society.…

    • 1381 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Robert Frost Analysis

    • 823 Words
    • 4 Pages

    If these mediums are able to act as an articulation of truth, and this truth has basis in fact, then a great paradox exists within the central nature of poetry. For some form of imaginative leap must precede that articulation of truth. Someone must hear a scythe and question what it whispers, must be willing to think in terms of whispering scythe- in terms of “more than the truth” -before they are able to build a poem on the rejection of this notion- that scythes whisper nothing more than the fact of their own whispering. Without someone listening for whispers in the first place, there is no poem; without the labour of the poem, there is no articulation of the “sweet dream” of the facts it…

    • 823 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He is not mime, but god. At the very boundaries of the expression that failed to soothe him in the build-up he breaks through and draws new boundaries within the universe, boundaries limited only by his own ability to represent the phenomena of experience. He is acting with self-interest and simultaneously creating something timeless and lasting out of necessity. Thus, the poem enters the world and is immediately its own object, constructed of objects in the world (text) but simultaneously animated with the spirit of the poet. But it is, of course, not the poet.…

    • 2152 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Poet Among Barbarians d. neither of these poems c. both of these poems 31. Which of the above poems uses simile? a. We Wear the Mask b. Poet Among Barbarians d. neither of these poems c. both of these…

    • 1503 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics