a gift from Alice, who always has poetry

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird


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

II

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

III

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

IV

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

V

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

VI

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.

VII

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?

VIII

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

IX

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

X

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

XI

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

XII

The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

XIII

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


by Wallace Stevens

Comments

Jennifer said…
I just noticed that this was posted so it says about 17 minutes ago. It's 12:18AM here... and I can't sleep so I thought I'd check in on you.

And I just want you to know that I've been thinking about you guys, and your label made me smile :)
Just saw Obama's speech. Oh blackbird yes you can...
eurolush said…
Beautiful poem for a beautiful person.
Mrs. G. said…
Wallace Stevens is my hero. He slogged away in the insurance business and kept exquisite poems like these in his desk drawer.
Eleanor said…
Eurolush summed it up perfectly.
Anonymous said…
Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Paul McCarney

Just thought I'd throw that in there for good measure.
ErinH
Anonymous said…
Gosh, sorry about that Sir McCartney.
ErinH
Miz S said…
I need to read more poetry.

Today is a beautiful day. I feel as if I am walking in a dream.
RW said…
I am constantly amazed at the things I don't know. I had never heard of Wallace Stevens until Alice posted of him.

This is a lovely piece of writing. I think of you often and I am wishing you well.
Dani said…
Beautiful poem.

Seeing as it's Give Blackbird Some Love Week I'll share this with the readers who may not have seen it:

http://snurl.com/552lx

Cuz I love me some Blackbird, too. :)
You are one bird most deserving of her own poem. Just sayin'.
Anonymous said…
It seems that every time I am in a cute shop lately, I see beautiful items with blackbirds on them and I always wish I could send them to you. Of course that would be too weird and also quite impractical, but I just wanted you to know that that is just a tiny example of how you have touched us one and all, in ways big and small.

jbhat