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July 16, 2009

Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”

by Andrea O'Connell

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), poet, playwright, and essayist; business man and Lawyer, was a terrific American writer.  In his popular poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” so much is revealed about how we question our own spirituality, the meaning of our own life’s path to enlightenment, and asks us to look at our demons – to start to pick away at how we frame things until gratitude’s light comes peeking through. 

“Blackbird” informs us about being grateful for the cracks in things, in people, and in life, as through these bothersome cracks, light is revealed, hence more clarity, realization, appreciation. 

 My favorite verse of “Blackbird” follows:

 I do not know which to prefer,

The beauty of inflections

Or the beauty of innuendoes,

The blackbird whistling

Or just after.

This verse speaks so well of gratitude for all things that life offers – all moments and experiences – no matter how perplexing, they are gifts… well, if not seen in the moment as a gift, then surely afterwards – when we are open – the gift comes in.

 The full poem is very interesting and revealing – it may shatter your thinking about how you look at things, people, events…

 Love and peace…..


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