Cosmopolitanism and Zoroastrianism in Moby-Dick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Poetry is a simple affair of the earth, and no less because the earth has mysterious ways: four simple trees on solitary acre challenge the poet’s capacity to know; birds are the poet’s criterion for tune; the poet’s song is fuller and longer than birds’ song; the amazing sense the poet distills comes but from ordinary meanings or indeed from human poverty, another favorite concept of Wallace Stevens. The dialectical tension in Sunday Morning between the woman’s trembling desire for life-after-life and the poet’s all-too-persuasive plea for this-life-as-final is a constant in Stevens’ poetry, as many scholars have noted. David Jarraway sums up this issue very well by focusing on the relations between poetry and belief. ‘Song of Myself’, the poet ‘Walt Whitman’ alone the American poet, ‘gross’ and ‘mystical’, ‘solid and sound’ knows immortality and ‘the amplitude of time. The way the poet presents himself throughout ‘Song of Myself’ makes him sound very much like the idea of God.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Turn Around Religion in America
Subtitle of host publicationLiterature, Culture, and the Work of Sacvan Bercovitch
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781317012948
ISBN (Print)9781409430186
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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