STEVENS ASSERTSthat there is a universal poetry, of which literary poetry and painting are manifestations. Art and composition are one; poetry and painting alike create through composition. "Where the poet does his job by virtue of an effort of the mind he is in rapport with the painter, who does his job with respect to the problems of form and color" (000). Comparing the prose of Proust and the paintings of Villon he finds that these works were deliciae of the spirit as distinguished from delectationes of the senses, for one found in them both "the labor of calculation, the appetite for perfection." Stevens speculates that "it may be that we are dealing with something that has no significance, something that is the result of imitation" (000). He quotes De Quincy, distinguishing between the poet and the painter as between two imitators, one moral, the other physical, and he suggests, "There are imitations within imitations and the relations between poetry and painting may present nothing more" (000). However, notes Stevens, in our own time the search for the supreme truth has been a search for some supremely acceptable fiction. Poets and painters alike make that assumption; it brings poetry and painting into relation as sources of our present conception of reality. It reaffirms a philosophical center through which reality may be repossessed and re-created with poetic acts. (Jean Jacobson.)

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Michael Hancher
Department of English, University of Minnesota
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Created 24 November 1997
Revised 7 May 2000