Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Wallace Stevens

blackbird
Figure 1.
Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.
Figure 2.
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.
Figure 3.
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.
Figure 4.
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.
Figure 5.
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
Figure 6.
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.
Figure 7.
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?
Figure 8.
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.
Figure 9.
When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.
Figure 10.
At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.
Figure 11.
He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.
Figure 12.
The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.
Figure 13.
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

Wallace Stevens

Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens

(October 2, 1879-August 2, 1955) was an American Modernist poet. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, educated at Harvard and then New York Law School, and he spent most of his life working as an executive for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his Collected Poems in 1955.

Some of his best-known poems include:

  • "Anecdote of the Jar"
  • "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock"
  • "The Emperor of Ice Cream"
  • "The Idea of Order at Key West"
  • "Sunday Morning"
  • "The Snow Man"
  • "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"

Bio from Wikipedia