Alan was still writing songs in the 1970’s, while I turned out historical narratives in iambic pentameter. We were much influenced by the Greek Alexandrian poet Konstantin Kavafy, and his sexual candor. We also admired A.L. Rowse’s exposé of Homosexuals in History and Mary Renault’s historical novels. Such reading inspired this poem, which was my first sonnet.
The poet Mark Strand has said that Wallace Stevens is “one of the most admired American poets of the twentieth century,” but at the same time, one of “the least understood.” Perhaps that is because Wallace Stevens wrote some of the most willfully obscure poems of the twentieth century.