A detailed section-by-section analysis of Stevens’s brilliant poem: its structure, themes of hedonism and order, musical symbolism, color imagery, and its use of alliteration, assonance, consonance, punning, and literary and biblical allusions.
As an addendum to the answer key, I have included three pages of information about Stevens’s life (including his Key West street brawl with Ernest Hemingway), the general themes of his poems, their stylistic features, and additional details about “Peter Quince at the Clavier” not covered in the handout for the students, such as its use of synesthesia. These notes may prove helpful in answering any questions which your pupils may ask about Stevens or the poem, or you may simply decide to incorporate some of its points into class discussion of “Peter Quince.”
My handout, which has blanks which your students can fill in, is suitable as an in-class activity or for homework. As mentioned, an Answer Key is provided on a separate sheet at the end of the handout.
Prepared by Professor William Tarvin, Ph.D., who has published many articles on literature in scholarly journals.