City in Israel; oldest city in the world. Jerusalem is a holy city for three major religions: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Both Israel and Palestine claim Jerusalem as its capital city. Jerusalem has more cultural ties, connections, and histories than perhaps any city in the world. Today, both Israel and Palestine claim Jerusalem as its capital city. 

Stevens’s Poems:Edit

  • The Man with the Blue Guitar, line 187: “To improve the sewers in Jerusalem,”

Cook claims that the phrase “To improve the sewers of Jerusalem” (from The Man with the Blue Guitar) refers to emotional bitterness. The line could also refer to an unfathomable task because “to improve the sewers of Jerusalem” would entail cleaning up the very deep roots of such an old and buried city. 

  • Owl’s Clover, The Greenest Continent, line 493: “Those whose Jerusalem is Glasgow-frost” 

“Owl’s Clover” was written as an elegy. The complete sentence that includes the above line reads:

His hymn, his psalm, his cithern song of praise

Is the exile of the disinherited,

Life’s foreigners, pale aliens of the mud,

Those whose Jerusalem is Glasgow-frost

Or Paris-rain.

The inclusion of the city Jerusalem in full context of the sentence connotes the almost worship-like nature exhibited by people towards various places of often romanticized icons, such as the Paris rain or Glasgow frost. 


  • Jerusalem
  • Cook, Eleanor. A Reader’s Guide to Wallace Stevens.