Of Modern Poetry
by Wallace Stevens
Skating Man, Dancing Woman
Any fans of male figure skating or Dancing With the Stars out there? Anyone? Well luckily for you, these are only examples of what Stevens thinks we might be able to find satisfaction in. What's crucial for him is that modern poetry be about "the finding of a satisfaction." It's poetry's job to make us feel good and to help us find beauty in life. But the fact is that not all of us love skating men or dancing women.
That's why for Stevens, a poem should never be just about these things. A poem should be about the human mind's general desire to find beauty in life. Each of us could find beauty in totally different things. But modern poetry should help us realize some of the general ways to go about finding this kind of beauty. In this sense, the skating man and the dancing woman in line 27 are only examples of what some people might find beautiful.