3.23.2016

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

it is addressed thusly:
Re-engineered, for Wallace Stevens
it reads:
I

Among twenty hills
Snow capped, all was still save this
The blackbird's bright eye.

II

Of three minds was I
Like a tree in which sat blackbirds
Three of them, that is.

III

Tossed in autumn wind
The blackbird went, but small was it
Amid great gestures.

IV.

This man and woman
Are one, and with a blackbird
One they still remain.

V.

Of speech or sighing?
The blackbird's song or just after?
Which delights me more?

VI.

Glass full of rude ice
The blackbird's shadow crossing
Marking unknown things.

VII.

Dreaming birds of gold -- ?
Men of Haddam! At your feet
See? The blackbird walks.

VIII.

Rhythm and timbre
I know, and the blackbird too
Is somehow involved.

IX.

The blackbird in flight
Vanished, one more circle's edge
Marked by its passing.

X.

Blackbirds in green light
Of their flight, even sweet singers
Would cry out sharply.

XI.

Riding a glass car
In fear mistook its shadow
But once, for blackbirds.

XII.

The river moving
Like it, somewhere the blackbird
Is moving in flight.

XIII.

Evening came early
Snow coming, in cedar-limbs
Had sat the blackbird.
a postscript is here written:
This is a Haiku transformation of Wallace Stevens' poem of the same name. I tried to maintain as much of his original style as possible, which was very like the core mood or approach of Haiku anyway. Additionally, the use of the word 'blackbird(s)' should be identical to the original part in his poem, in which it should be noted that blackbird(s) occurs precisely 13 times.

My intent here is to both show that Wallace Stevens was an excellent poet, and also that the formlessness of modern 'styles' gains them no boons. Although the Haiku imposes certain greater restrictions (especially see XI) nonetheless, even the simple formula of the Haiku strengthens each of his thirteen images.

Modern poetry is somewhat like a series of photographs of stones 'randomly' thrown in a pool. Unknown felicities arise, but they are the felicities we have already seen elsewhere when we examine them carefully. We do not lack genius yet, but virtue has gone with discipline.

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