© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos

The Idea of Order at Key West

The Idea of Order at Key West


Wallace Stevens

The Idea of Order at Key West Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Stevens wrote "The Idea of Order at Key West" in blank verse (meaning unrhymed lines of iambic pentameter). Quite a few of the lines don't follow strict iambic pentameter, but we'll talk more about...


At this point, you may have some pretty strong feelings about the speaker of this poem, maybe even violent feelings. But, give him a chance, why don'tcha? And we're just assuming that he's a… he....


Where this poem takes place is packed with significance. On the surface, what could be more pleasant than the beach, right? But Stevens takes the setting way past sandcastles and starfish, gang.Thi...

Sound Check

Alright. We've been at this for awhile now. Let's take a break. How about a little game to relax and unwind? Shmoop loves games! No. Stop. Put the Xbox away. We were thinking more along the lines o...

What's Up With the Title?

While "The Idea of Order at Key West" is a helpful title in the sense that it gives us a head start in determining the poem's setting, it doesn't really prepare us for what's in store in terms of t...

Calling Card

Go ahead. Flip through your handy poetry anthology. (You always have it with you, right? Shmoop does. We're like that, you know: ultra-cool and ultra-prepared—kind of like a super-hip boy scout)....


This poem rates a 10 only because there is no 11. The rocky cliffs are littered with the tears and pulled-out hair of those who have tried but failed to reach the icy summit. Despite the title, thi...


Wallace spent most of his working years as an executive at an insurance company. So that's what they do behind those big desks all day! (Source.) Surprise, surprise! Wallace was kind of a mysteriou...

Steaminess Rating

The beach can be a sexy place. Alas, this beach isn't. All and all, "The Idea of Order at Key West" isn't a very steamy poem, unless you imagine it is a humid evening at the shore. The setting has...

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search
Noodle's College Search