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Anecdote Of The Jar

Wallace Stevens

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Added by: poetrysreallygettingonmynerves
wow... good poem but either its got wayyyy too much symbolism for me and going right over my head or its simply about a g-ddm jar
Wallace Stevens; "Anecdote of the Jar"
Added by: Amanda Davis
This poem discusses how imagination imposes on reality. Imagination takes dominion everywhere, but through the jar, it is forced into meaning something. The jar symbolizes imagination while the surroungings represent reality. So, you see, the jar imposes on its surroundings, forcing reality to have some significance.
Added by: RML
When at first the jar, a symbol of modern industrial society, is placed on a hill in nature, it shames its surroundings and makes the wilderness appear disorganized and lesser. After some time, however, the plants grow up to and around the jar and it becomes clear that nature is superior to civilization because it allows growth and renewal while the man-made product has no intrinsic value and is barren and sterile. In this respect (i.e. praising a refuge from a boring and repressive society) it comparable to "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock."
Added by: whatdoicare
i beleive that the poem is about a foreign object destroying the purity and beauty of the natural wilderness. The foreign object being civilization. It is true and obviously apperent that we do, in fact, "multiply, and multiply until every natural resource is consumed." Stevens must have seen thisqulaity and not have favored it.
Added by: Abbey
I think that it is interesting how one object defines the other. The jar defines nature and nature defines the jar by their differences. A jar in itself would hardly be noticeble unless in this vastly different environment and the jar accentuates the profusion of nature.
Added by: travi
the Jar... was placed... on a hill;
the Jar becomes 'natural' -
naturally higher than the wild, for
it is refined and exact, well kept
for anything it needs to keep.

the wild'... rose up to it... and sprawled...; this movement appears to be the Jar's doing, since it needs external stimuli.
It does to Nature what man did to Jar; ...no longer wild.
Remember now the jar is on the ground; if we place ourselves on a level equal to Nature, we have proven to control it as we have allowed ourselves to be controlled - defined refined Order. Now the Jar has to reclaim its status once again by intruding into the air; it makes itself a monument to and of its own pseudo re-creations.

in the end, the Jar is, as it was in the beginning, empty - without the ability to give. And will it stop its taking, from Nature, for its filling?
It is my opinion that the Jar is the death of Man by his own tools for living - unNatural building.
Anecdote on the Jar
Added by: Darryl
Amanda almost got it right, but Abbey is JUST right! Contrast is everything, as perception (aka: reality) is not possible otherwise.
Jar-Jar Brinks
Added by: g-man
Although the symbols in this poem are clearly open for interpretation, one observation that was not previously mentioned is the fact that the jar "...did not give of bird or bush." In the first two stanzas of the poem the jar is seemingly passed from the hands of the creator on to the hill. Mount Zion? In the second stanza Wallace paints the jar as "...round upon the ground/
And tall of a port in the air." As this jar grows larger than it's creator, it takes "...dominion everywhere," and the jar is left "gray and bare," just like people when they stray too far from the hands of their creator.
Stevens wants us to realize that
when we become arrogant about our place in nature, it is our very own souls that are on the brink of extinction
anecdote of a jar
Added by: bobdy
This poem is about how nature accepts things for what they are. Nature uses what has been placed in it's path. Can't you see that nature has now accepted this jar and made it a tidepool of some sort? This poem represents adaptation. Unlike mans removal of anything foreign, in which he does not understand, nature does not discriminate.
Stevens' Anecdote of The Jar
Added by: P. A. Merrill
This little poem seems to me to be a comment about how Man cannot observe the chaos of Nature without forcing an idea of order upon it. Without a jar "upon a hill" there is no central point, no frame of reference. Putting something manmade in the midst of chaos gives it suddenly a center, something we can conceptualize. We can start writing books and making maps. Nature aound the jar is "no longer wild." Steven's point is that we cannot observe without imposing order, thus we never "see" what is really there.

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