Stevens, Wallace. "Anecdote of the Jar".
Summary and Analysis
The speaker announces that he placed a jar upon a hill in Tennessee and the very jar made the wilderness surround it. Then the wilderness was no longer wild and the jar was a port in air. At the beginning it is emphasized that the jar was round, in the conclusion it is not only round but also tall.
The jar which tamed the wilderness might symbolize a God-near power for its unique abilities and for its becoming a port, that is also figuratively a "haven". The wilderness which is "slovenly" may also stand for wild and slovenly people. The jar might also symbolize poetry which draws readers in and refines their natural barbarism.
AuthorStevens, Wallace. (1879 - 1955).
Full Title"Anecdote of the Jar".
First PublishedIn: Harmonium. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1923.
Stevens, Wallace. "Anecdote of the Jar". (1923). In: The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym et al. NY: Norton, 1989.