The color blue, often used to symbolically represent various moods and tones. In Stevens’s poetry, the color blue takes on added meaning. Thomas Jensen Hines connects blue as the color of the imagination. Michael Ferber explains the many literary connections to the color blue, but of special note is his reference to Stephen Mallarme’s use of “azur for the pure ideal for which his souls sighs [. . .] but it is a ‘cruel ideal’ for its ‘serene irony,’ its inaccessibility except by glimpses to the tormented poet who tries to apprehend it” (n.p.).



References in Stevens's PoetryEdit

Wallace Stevens uses the word “blue” in multiple works:

Le Monocle de Mon Oncle

Cy Est Poutraicte, Madame Ste Ursule, et Les Unze Mille Vierges

Hibiscus on the Sleeping Shores

The Comedian as the Letter C

O, Florida, Venereal Soil

The Apostrophe to Vincentine 

Of the Surface of Things

Anecdote of the Prince of Peacooks

Banal Sojourn

Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock

Sunday Morning

Six Significant Landscapes

Two Figures in Dense Violet Night

Peter Quince at the Clavier

Sea Surface Full of Clouds

New England Verses

The Public Square

In the Clear Season of Grapes

Sailing After Lunch

Snow and Stars

The Sun This March

Like Decorations in a Nigger Cemetery

A Fish-Scale Sunrise

The Man with the Blue Guitar

Parochial Theme

Study of Two Pears

Idiom of the Hero

The Man on the Dump

On the Road Home

The Latest Freed Man

Connoisseur of Chaos

The Blue Buildings in the Summer Air

Poem Written at Morning

Arcades of Philadelphia the Past

Cuisine Bourgeoise

Bouquet of Belle Savoir

Landscape with Boat

Variations on a Summer Day

Poem with Rhythms

Woman Looking at a Vase of Flowers

Of Bright & Blue Birds & the Gala Sun

Extracts from Addresses to the Academy of Fine Ideas


The News and the Weather


Examination of the Hero in a Time of War

The Motive for Metaphor

Dutch Graves in Bucks County

So-and-Sp Reclining on Her Couch

Chocorua to Its Neighbor

Repetitions of a Young Captain

Esthetique du Mal

The Pure Good of Theory

Debris of Life and Mind

Description without Place

Two Tales of Liadoff

Two Versions of the Same Poem

Continual Conversation with a Silent Man

Human Arrangement

Attempt to Discover Life

A Lot of People Bathing in a Stream

Credences of Summer

Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction, It Must Be Abstract

Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction, It Must Give Pleasure

The Auroras of Autumn

Page from a Tale

Large Red Man Reading

The Ultimate Poem Is Abstract

Celle Qui Fut Heaulmiette

A Primitive Like an Orb

The Bouquet

What We See is What We Think

Study of Images I

An Ordinary Evening in New Haven

Things of August

Madame La Fleurie

The Illustrations That the World Is What You Make of It

Carnet de Voyage

“Eight Significant Landscapes”



From the Journal of Crispin

Mandolin and Liqueurs

Annual Gaiety

Secret Man


Owl’s Clover, The Old Woman and the Statue

Owl’s Clover, Mr. Burnshaw and the Statue

Owl’s Clover, A Duck for Dinner

Owl’s Clover, Sombre Figuration

Life on a Battleship

From “Five Grotesque Pieces”


  • Ferber, Michael. “Blue.” A Dictionary of Literary Symbols. New York: Cambridge UP, 2007. Google Books. Web. 
  • Hines, Thomas Jensen. The Later Poetry of Wallace Stevens: Phenomenological Parallels with Husserl and Heidegger. Cranbury: Associated UP, 1976. Google Books. Web.