| Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock|
The houses are haunted
The poem allows the reader to linger over the possibility of colors, of strangeness, and of unusual dreams. Imagination that is absent from a mundane orderly life is represented, not by a dandified aesthete, but instead by a drunken sailor dreaming of catching tigers in red weather. The poem itself shows that imagination has its own order, so the representation should be kept distinct from what it represents. Thus following one of the main facets necessary for modernist literature to function: that the object or idea being represented exists in and for itself, and only itself. On this reading the poem is not an indictment of middle-class values, though that is one interpretive option, but rather the "haunted house" of white night-gowns represents life without imagination.
- Buttel, R. Wallace Stevens: The Making of Harmonium. 1967: Princeton University Press.
- ↑ Buttel, p. 159