Poetry Giveaway – Winner #2! ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird’ by Wallace Stevens

"The time, if time it was, would ripen/ in its own sweet time."

The second winner of our Poetry Giveaway is……Mark!  Mark’s favorite poem is Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens.  Tell them what he wins, Johnny – Mark is now the owner of a lovely broadside of the poem Aubade by Amanda Jernigan, which is paired on its thick paper with an original photograph by John Haney. (Mark, email us online@bookpeople.com to tell us where to send it.)

Tomorrow’s the last day of the giveaway, when we’ll be picking the winner for the signed Billy Collins broadside. Thanks again to everyone who’s participated, and congratulations to our winners so far!

Now, here’s Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, first published in the 1917 collection Harmonium. If you’re in the mood for more Wallace Stevens, we recommend The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens and Knopf’s Selected Poems.


Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

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.

~Wallace Stevens

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