Looking over last month’s search strings for the “previous entry”:http://www.polytropos.org/archives/000487.html, I saw the “wallace stevens they might be giants” search turn up “yet again”:http://www.polytropos.org/archives/000384.html. I poked around for a bit to see if there was any online buzz about other TMBG references to WS other than the obvious one. No dice, though apparently during one of John Linnell’s tours promoting his State Songs album, he read “Anecdote of the Jar” before playing the Tennessee song. Here ’tis:
I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.
The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.
It took dominion every where.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.
I’m betting that there’s some other Stevens reference in a TMBG song that nobody has discovered yet. While it’s somewhat appalling to admit, I know TMBG lyrics way better than I know Wallace Stevens lines, so the way to find that undiscovered reference is to go back and reread Stevens. Which is as good an excuse as any.
fn1. It’s only appalling because if you asked me to make a Top Five Poets list, Stevens would be on it. Heck, Top Three.