1] Stevens borrowed the title phrase from his friend Judge Arthur Powell (Brazeau, 100).
2] nave: main part of the church, holding the congregation; punning on `knave'?
5] citherns: citterns, Renaissance guitars.
7] peristyle: a colonnade that surrounds a courtyard or building.
15] flagellants: self-scourgers, named after a 13th-century sect that humbled lust by whipping.
16] muzzy: liquor-numbed.
18] tink and tank and tunk-a-tunk-tunk: onomatopoeic terms, imitating the sound of metal on different kinds of objects.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Harmonium (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, [September 7], 1923): 89. York University Library Special Collections 734
First publication date: July 1922
Publication date note: The Dial 73 (July 1922): 59
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/14
Composition date note: (Richardson, I, 301)
Form: unrhyming pentameter
Other poems by Wallace Stevens