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Come & enjoy Wallace Stevens at Spades Park

July 12, 2014 by Reader's Connection

Selected Poems
The Spades Park Poetry Club will meet again on the last Tuesday of the month, July 29th, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Neophytes, scholars, and everyone in between are invited to join the Poetry Club in our reading and discussion of the great 20th century poet-philosopher, Wallace Stevens. The group leader will have selected a few poems, but bringing and sharing your personal favorites is highly encouraged!

Whoa-ho! Really? Bring a favorite? Bloggers are always willing to hit you with their favorites. I don’t think “Of Mere Being” is in the public domain, yet, so here’s “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.


Nine Gates : Entering the Mind of Poetry

I thought Jane Hirshfield said some interesting things about this poem in her book Nine Gates : Entering the Mind of Poetry–but hey, you don’t have to do any extra reading in preparation. The fearless Patrick Dugan will be here to guide the reading and discussion.

That’s Tuesday, July 29th, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., at the Spades Park Library.


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