The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday, Boonesborough Days, Creamery

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
By Wallace Stevens


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.


Paul, Cheryl, and I spent the afternoon at Boonesborough Days, the festival of food, crafts, and regional history up in the mountains of Washington County. We had lunch before we went, so our food purchases were things like corn fritters and kettle corn -- and we knew we were going to South Mountain Creamery afterward for ice cream -- but we looked at lots of jewelry, wood carvings, doll clothes, homemade soaps, antique cars, local archaeology, tea, sunspots via the astronomers who had set up telescopes there, square dancing, portable gristmills, and a box turtle some kids had found in the creek:


After a stop at South Mountain Creamery, where we petted calves, visited chicks in the hatching barn, and bought ice cream and cheese, we came home and watched some X-Men, then had the cheese and peanut soup for dinner. After Cheryl went home, we did a bit of cleaning up and watched Masters of Sex, which seems increasingly depressing -- I alternately want to smack Bill for how he treats people in general, women in particular, and tie him up until he agrees he needs psychotherapy -- and the highlights of the football games we only heard earlier on the radio, which ended as badly for the Ravens as the Redskins.

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