Poem Analysis of "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock" The poem Disillusionment of Ten O'clock is a carefully constructed, tightly orchestrated poem written by Wallace Stevens. The author's tone is the theme of the poem - the lack of Romance in our lives. But this isn't completely unexpected; rather, it's in keeping with Stevens' theory that the poet should transcribe "not ideas about the thing but the thing itself." Thus the words, though poignant in their implications, are not in themselves sad, nor pitying they just. The text in lines four through six build up a dreamy, almost hypnotic effect, while the colors themselves are evocative of the mood Stevens wishes to create. The deliberately archaic word 'ceintures' adds to Steven's tone of romance, while the 'baboons and periwinkles' make for an increased complexity of sound and meaning. In the final clause 'catches tigers in red weather's uddenly brings the dream vividly to life; the unexpected adjective simply emphasizes the energy of the action.
The use of color in Steven's poem does not seem intended to render a "mood" or "impression." Rather, the contemplation of colors in various combinations seems to be a pleasurable end in itself, and the poem appears to endorse the pure good of artifice and decoration ("socks of lace / And beaded ceintures") in a landscape that would otherwise be blank. If one were to read Steven's writing and relate the words and tone of the novel, the words correlate to the title. Disillusionment is depriving a perception of reality. The words seem to lead nowhere in the lines describing the nightgowns. The poem is satisfactory, rendering readers unable to decide about quality of the poem.