Milton J. Bates: On "A High-Toned Old Christian Woman"
[In "A High-Toned Old Christian Woman"] the poet attempts to ruffle the composure of this true believer by proposing a shocking version of Santayana's argument in Interpretations of Poetry and Religion--that poetry and religion are equally fictions of the human mind, reflecting the values of the human maker. If lewdness is human, why not project a heaven on this basis rather than the moral sentiment? This is the more conceivable inasmuch as the imagination is itself irreverent and protean: "fictive things / Wink as they will." "A High-Toned Old Christian Woman" is calculated to elicit from the woman--and those readers who share her outlook--the "wince" that concludes the poem.
From Wallace Stevens: A Mythology of Self. Copyright © 1985 by the University of California Press.
|Title||Milton J. Bates: On "A High-Toned Old Christian Woman"||Type of Content||Criticism|
|Criticism Author||Milton J. Bates||Criticism Target||Wallace Stevens|
|Criticism Type||Poet||Originally Posted||04 Dec 2015|
|Publication Status||Excerpted Criticism||Publication||No Data|
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