Sunday, January 5, 2014

Review of "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" by Wallace Stevens

"Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" by Wallace Stevens was offered by Poets.org's Poem-A-Day on January 5, 2014.  A link to the poem may be found here:

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15746?utm_source=PAD%3A+Thirteen+Ways+of+Looking+at+a+Blackbird+by+Wallace+Stevens&utm_campaign=poemaday_010514&utm_medium=email

Wallace Stevens (1879 - 1955) spent most of his life uneventfully as a lawyer and businessman in the insurance industry.  He is considered to be one of the major American poets of the twentieth century, but only began to achieve this recognition with the publication of his Collected Poems in 1954, one year before his death.  Additional biographical information may be found here:

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/124?utm_source=PAD%3A+Thirteen+Ways+of+Looking+at+a+Blackbird+by+Wallace+Stevens&utm_campaign=poemaday_010514&utm_medium=email

The editor's notes reveal that "Thirteen Ways" was inspired by the haiku form, despite the fact that not one of the thirteen numbered stanzas is a haiku.  The spirit of the haiku form is there:  subject, action, and juxtaposition; in most of the stanzas, a season is also stated or implied.

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