Today is the anniversary of the death of poet Wallace Stevens
"Death is the mother of beauty.
Only the perishable can be beautiful,
which is why we are unmoved by artificial flowers."
Stevens was one of the most skilled poets of the 20th Century. He lived his entire adult life near Elizabeth Park in Hartford, Connecticut.
By day, Stevens worked at Hartford insurance company where he became a Vice President, and by night, he was a poet; it was in an unusual combination.
Stevens lived two miles from his work, and he walked to work every day, undoubtedly using the time to find inspiration and to write poems.
The park across from his house was one of his favorite places. Elizabeth Park is huge, covering over 100 acres with formal gardens, meadows, lawns, greenhouses, and a pond. Stevens wrote the following poems About Elizabeth Park:
- Vacancy in the Park
- The Plain Sense of Things
- Nuns Painting Water Lilies
By 1950, Stevens was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his poetry.
And, here's a little known fact about Wallace Stevens: He once started a fist-fight with Ernest Hemingway in Key West.