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Idea of Order at Key West

The Favorite Poem Project: William Delman (GRS’06) reads Wallace Stevens


William Delman, fiction editor of Agni magazine
“Idea of Order at Key West” by Wallace Stevens

“As readers, we are witnesses engaged in a kind of double-hearsay — the poet envisions the mind creating the music, and then we witness this mind, through the prisms of poetry and thought. On a more basic level, I enjoy his many repetitions and the kind of round these words come to form. This abundance of s-sounds not only mimics the various tones of the surf, but it also makes the poem a lot of fun to read.”

“By reading poems we love aloud, we can learn how much pleasure there can be in the sounds of words,” says Robert Pinsky, a College of Arts and Sciences professor of English and former U.S. poet laureate. “It’s as though saying the words of a poem aloud makes one feel more able, more capable than in ordinary life. You enter a different state.”

Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project in 1997 during the first of an unprecedented three terms as poet laureate to encourage Americans to celebrate and explore their love of poetry. Since then, the project — now directed by BU poet Maggie Dietz (GRS’97) — has produced three anthologies and more than 1,000 readings around the country.

Throughout the semester, BU Today features a member of the BU community reading his or her favorite poem. Any student or faculty or staff member can participate.

If you’d like to read your favorite poem for BU Today, e-mail us at today@bu.edu.


2 Comments on Idea of Order at Key West

  • Anonymous on 02.15.2008 at 9:20 am

    powerful reading of a great poem, but...

    the stereo sound seems to be out of sync. the left speaker plays before the right. maybe it’s just my computer, but then again no other recording seems to have that problem. If there’s any way to fix this, please do! And please keep the poetry readings coming!

  • Anonymous on 02.16.2008 at 1:49 am

    What’s this reader’s rush?

    He should cherish Stevens’ words and modulate to create the drama of the poem. It’s a rich poem flattened.

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