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The Idea of Order at Key West

The Idea of Order at Key West

by Wallace Stevens

Spirituality Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

Whose spirit is this? we said, because we knew
It was the spirit that we sought and knew (18-19)

Seeking "the spirit" sounds pretty, well, spiritual. And with that "wholly body" still in our ears from the first stanza, there is an echo of Holy Spirit here as well.

Quote #5

Oh! Blessed rage for order […]
The maker's rage to order words of the sea,
[…] And of ourselves and of our origins,
In ghostlier demarcations (52-56)

We get lots of religious and spiritual language and imagery here, with words like "Blessed" and "maker." Even "order" has religious undertones when you consider the existence of religious orders (groups like monks and nuns who live and study together), and also the theological order or ranking of angels. There is also the idea of our "origins." It is tough to discuss the origins of life without someone bringing up religion and the Big Guy. And if you're still not buying the spiritual elements in the poem, there is a ghost (i.e., the Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit) in the last line. Boom! Shmoop wins!

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