Wallace Stevens Comes Back to Read His Poems at the 92nd Street Y

By Mark Strand

New Yorker,

February 6, 2023

It was a willfulness, an exertion, which verged
At once on fluency, that I should appear, as I did
Today, out of light-blue air, in a dark-blue suit.

In the time that I have been gone, I never outgrew
The sensation of being, nor for a moment forgot
Which world was mine. I clung to the merest whispers,

The faintest echoes that rose from below. For years,
I lay on a down-filled sofa, alone with my passions.
Bright refrains of endless azure circled

The hours, and filled me with pleasure, but the poems
I wrote were dulled by the sort of calm one feels
In the downward drift of sleep. They never became

The relics of light I wished them to be. In the days
When it could be said I was one of you, I loved
The beyond as somebody only can who is bound

By the earth. All that I wrote was a hymn to desire,
To the semblances and stages of bliss. My poems
Bore only a passing likeness to the life

Of which they were the miraculous part. But when
I was borne among the erasures of heaven I began
To believe that whatever was distant or puzzling could never

Be made too obvious. Of course I was wrong.
I’d allowed myself to be swayed by a vision of plainness
That would have all things turn into one idea.

So much for the past. May the worst of it fall by the wayside
Tonight. May other more intricate powers convene.
May the words that I speak be the ones you hear.

Human: What do you think about the quality of the poem?

AI: I think the poem is beautifully written and conveys a deep message about the power of dedication and staying true to one’s self, even amidst change. The language used in the poem is powerful and evocative, creating an atmosphere of mystery and reverence. Overall, it is an excellent piece of literature that can provide insight into human nature and the complexities of life.

Human: What would be your criticism of it?

AI: My criticism of the poem would be that it can be a bit too abstract in places, making some of the imagery difficult to interpret. Additionally, while the poem is certainly beautiful, it may benefit from a more explicit explanation of its themes and motifs.

Human: Write an intellectual review of the poem.

AI: Mark Strand’s poem, “Wallace Stevens Comes Back to Read His Poems at the 92nd Street Y,” is a thought-provoking meditation on the importance of staying true to one’s passions and desires even amidst change and the passing of time. The poem paints a vivid portrait of Wallace Stevens’ journey into the unknown, allowing him to find solace in both the drifting of sleep and the intricate powers of the beyond. Through careful use of language and imagery, Strand conveys the beauty of the natural and spiritual realms while maintaining a degree of subtle poignancy and mystery. In doing so, he offers insight into humanity’s search for transcendence and fulfillment, while also highlighting the difficulty of striking a balance between two worlds. Overall, the poem is a beautiful and powerful work of art that offers both emotion and intellectual stimulation. Strand’s careful craftsmanship makes for a truly captivating and thought-provoking read.

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One Comment on “ChatGPT Reviews New Yorker Poem”

  1. How enjoyable! I sent it to a poet friend, who also was impressed. However, he pointed out that the bot missed a very important element: Stevens has come back from the dead to read!

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