From Wallace Stevens’ Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, one sees just how much context, focus, and relativity to other existing ideas can change one’s perspective. All the stanzas involve blackbirds. But they are not about the blackbirds at all. They are about everything else; they take blackbirds as x and use x as the subject through which to understand the world.

Here are some of my perspectives, unpolished:

It’d be cool to come upon a blackbird’s nest of chicks.
I see some; they are scrawny.
I reminiscence fondly over my fortunate discovery, and tell my friends.

I do not much like blackbirds-
“Blackbirds are the most amazing birds ever!”
“Blackbirds are common, ugly and lame.”
Blackbirds: they can be interesting creatures.

A blackbird perched beside my head,
Its smell, feathers, blackness, clawed feet, jerky movements…
It has flown off into the pale blue sky, a small black speck.

See what you get from that.


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