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Of Modern Poetry

Of Modern Poetry


by Wallace Stevens

Of Modern Poetry: If You Build it, They May or May Not Come True or False

1. What does Stevens mean when he says that "the theatre was changed/ To something else"? -> Modern events changed the rules for what poetry needed to do
2. Why does modern poetry have to "construct a new stage"? -> Because modern events require it to help people in new ways
3. Why won't the old stage work anymore for modern poetry? -> Because old scripts and old beliefs don't comfort people anymore
4. What should the "invisible audience" of modern poetry be listening to? -> The true meaning behind words
5. What does the twanging instrument of line 21 represent? -> Stevens' own lack of talent