"Le Monocle de Mon Oncle"
is a poem from Wallace Stevens
's first book of poetry,Harmonium.
It was first published in 1918
Quoted here is the eighth canto. (The whole poemcan be found elsewhere.) Canto I includes the line "I wish that I mightbe a thinking stone."
Harold Bloom regaled his students with anoff-beat interpretation of Canto II's line, "Shall I uncrumple thismuch-crumpled thing?", as alluding to an inactive sexual relationship to Elsie ("you", the Other).
Canto IV includes the verse,<blockquote>This luscious and impeccable fruit of life<br>Falls, it appears, of its own weight to earth.<br>When you were Eve, its acrid juice was sweet,<br>Untasted, in its heavenly, orchardair.</blockquote>Canto XI includes the verse,<blockquote>
If sex were all, then every trembling hand<br>
Could make us squeak, like dolls, the wished-for words.</blockquote>And in canto XII the poem concludes with the verse,<blockquote>Like a rose rabbi, later, I pursued,<br>And still pursue, the origin and course<br>Of love, but until now I never knew<br>That fluttering things have so distinct a shade.</blockquote>Holly Stevens quotes a letter of her father in which he writes, "I hadin mind simply a man fairly well along in life, looking back andtalking in a... Read More