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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

This one's all about imagination, folks, so of course it's in free verse. What would a poem about creativity and freedom be if it were written in neat little metrical lines. Meter, for Stevens, jus...

Speaker

Speaker? What speaker? We don't know who this guy is. Is he one of those folks in a white nightgown? Is he an old salt, sleeping in his boots? Or is he someone completely different, someone detache...

Setting

We can't really be sure where we are, but Shmoop likes to think we're in surburbia. Or Suburgatory as some like to call it. After all, the houses are haunted, and no one's having good dreams. Yep,...

Sound Check

This poem may be free verse, but it's got all kinds of delights going on in the sonic department. Let's break it down:Line 1: Alliteration alert! "Houses" and "haunted" both start with the same con...

What's Up With the Title?

Disillusionment. The absence of illusions. That sounds like a good thing, right? We mean, if we don't have illusions, that means we're not seeing things that aren't there, which also means we're no...

Calling Card

Stevens was known as a mental poet. No, not mental as in nutso, but mental as in he wrote poems about the mind—what it was, what it could do, what it could strive for. He was, in short, a poet of...

Tough-o-Meter

Once you know the meaning of "ceintures," then you've got total access to the poem. Just sit back and let your imagination take over. Don't worry about trying to make sense of what it means to drea...

Trivia

No one really knows what happened, but apparently Stevens once got into a bit of a kerfluffle with Robert Frost on a vacation in Key West. For his part, Stevens was drunk and forgot about it. Frost...

Steaminess Rating

These are the least sexy nightgowns Shmoop has ever seen.
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