Analysis of Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, by Wallace Stevens

1515 Words7 Pages
Wallace Stevens is not an easy poet to understand. His work is purposely twisted and tangled so one is forced to thing-whether they want to or not. Stevens’ poetry ranges from real life situations to situations which are simply a depiction of his imagination. One thing can be concluded though, Stevens does not allow his work to have a single meaning. Why should he? This is the upmost quality that makes his stand out from his competitors in the poetic industry. An interesting theme though which Wallace truly enjoys writing about, in all seriousness, is something thought provoking- perception. The book definition of perception is “appending [something] by the means of senses or the mind” . In his poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”, Stevens offers multiple definitions of this single concept. It just depends on what the reader can decipher from thirteen parts consisting of short verses. Initially, the poem appears to be about an observer forming a connection with a blackbird that he encounters many times. Then the reader realizes that the poem is by Stevens and something else must be going on- and they are correct. In order to see the entire picture, it is very important to look at the bits and pieces that create it. The meaning of each individual part, the setting, the usage of literary devices such as distinct symbolism, and versatile thematic messages are all very important in creating a clear understanding. The path has been laid out, now it is time to shred this work into pieces! What would be a better place to begin than the first part of the poem? Here, an observer- who is actually the speaker of the poem which part two shares with the readers- watches the “eye of the blackbird” move and peer in... ... middle of paper ... ...=t>. Ingram, Courtney. "The Process of Perception." Capstone Project. eFolio Minnesota, n.d. Web. 4 Dec. 2013. . Tuner, Michele. "Pantomime." Lexico, 1995. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. <>. Chapman, Jeremy. "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird : An Analysis."Jeremy Chapman : Montreal Linux Computer Consultant. Drupal, n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. . "Common Blackbird." Wikipedia Encyclopedia. Wikimedia, 18 Feb. 2003. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. . Stevens, Wallace. "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird." 1917. The Palm at the End of the Mind. Ed. Holly Stevens. New York: Vintage Books, 1990. 20-22. Print.

More about Analysis of Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, by Wallace Stevens

Open Document