Thursday, April 11, 2013

Three ways of looking at a blackbird

As inspired by Wallace Stevens ~

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
Wallace Stevens

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.


altadenahiker said...

Yes, Wallace Stevens. “The poem must resist the intelligence / Almost successfully..." You've made my evening. That, and the determined look on the face of bachelor #3.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Lovely photos, specially the third when the bird is just to fly!
I had never read this poem before. Thanks for sharing.

Ms M said...

Karin: Thanks! :-) Good quote. This is one of my favs of Stevens' poems.

Sonia: Thank you! Wallace Stevens is an amazing poet.

Shell Sherree said...

The last one in particular is breathtaking. Flight in motion ~ and dashing flash of colour. Lovely, Ms M, and thank you for the poem.

Petrea Burchard said...

Wallace Stevens has long been my favorite.

Ms M said...

Shell: Merci! It was a thrill to capture the bird in flight. I love the flash of orange red on their wings.

Petrea: He's long been one of my favorites, too. With posting photos of blackbirds, I couldn't pass up the chance to use this poem.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Thanks for the inspiration! :)