Poetry Analysis for “A Study of Two Pears”
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It takes tremendous skill to master Imagist/Modernism poetry, yet many authors succeeded with this type of writing. Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, and Amy Lowell are three Imagist/Modernism poets that were extremely successful during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Wallace Stevens was by far one of the greatest poets of this time period. His purpose of writing was to, “become a light in the mind of others”. Stevens desperately wanted people to use their imaginations to push past what they saw in the physical world. Once of Wallace Stevens’ greatest works, “The Study of Two Pears”, is exactly what it sounds like; a study of two pears. The speaker of the poem observes two pears sitting on table. Most people would look at the table and simply see two pears. But when the speaker of the poem looks, he looks beyond the physical world and finds the true natural beauty that the pears actually represent.
In this poem, Wallace Stevens’ writing style helps the read interpret the poem and receive the message that the author is trying to convey.
The yellow glistens.
It glistens with various yellows,
Citrons, oranges and greens
Flowering over the skin (lines 17-20).
In the above excerpt, lies just one of the many clear, concise descriptions used by Wallace Stevens to create a picture for the reader. These descriptions help the reader to see the pears in a completely new perspective. The author also used several metaphors such as, “The shadows of the pears / Are blobs on the green cloth” (lines 21-22). The metaphors placed throughout the poem create a picture for the reader as the read the poem. These uses of poetic devices help the reader to see and feel the same as the speaker does.
The poet’s attitude and tone are also important in understanding the meaning of “The Study of Two Pears”. In the beginning of the poem, the speaker seems to be appreciative, and even inspired by these pears. For example, Stevens says, “In the way they are modelled / There are bits of blue” (lines 13-14). In these lines, the author seems almost in awe of the beauty of the pears. In the last two lines of the poem, the tone and attitude drastically change. “The pears are not seen / As the observer wills” (lines 23-24). The tone seems to have changed to a more melancholy sort of tone. The last two lines have probably left you in deep thought and with questions for the author.
These last two lines reveal what has been bothering the author throughout this poem. People never even notice the pears! They don’t even spare a second glance at them. People get caught in up in the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives, which is something that every one of us is guilty of doing. Because of this, we often fail to remember that there is beauty in simplicity. Stevens isn’t saying that finding the beauty in simple things is an easy task. But by taking some time out of your day to stop and look deeper, you can find the beauty of nature in things as simple as pears.
I’ll be honest. At first, I didn’t understand this poem at all. I thought this was simply a poem about pears. But after reading the poem several times and taking the time to analyze it, I’ve realized that I am exactly the kind of “observer” that Stevens is referring to. This poem isn’t just about two pears sitting on a table. It’s a great reminder to relax and take a breather. It’s a great reminder to just take some time to enjoy the little things in life. Because whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, beauty surrounds us at any given time, no matter where we are.