Poetry Centre

Wallace Stevens, Anecdote of the Jar

  • Read by Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University

    Anecdote of the Jar

    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 everywhere.
    The jar was gray and bare.
    It did not give of bird or bush,
    Like nothing else in Tennessee.

    Wallace Stevens

    This poem (1919) is in the public domain.