Day 2 poem, NaPoWriMo 2017

napo2017button1When I sat down to work, a pair of grackles in the garden gathering dried grasses for their nest, and Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” came to mind.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Poem

I

Among thousands of angry words,
The only thing shouting
Was the poem.

II

I spoke in two voices,
like a piece of paper
On which there are two poems.

III

The poem danced on the reader’s tongue.
It was the eye of the hurricane.

IV

The body and the mind
Are one.
The body and the mind and a poem
Are one.

V

I do not choose which to praise,
The eloquence of form
Or the eloquence of function,
The reading of the poem
Or the silence after.

VI

Blackbirds filled the fall afternoon
With chaotic sound.
The echo of the poem
Matched it, tone for tone.
The pattern
Etched on the echo
An inarticulate meaning.

VII

O vain bodies of Columbia,
Why do you crave yellow words?
Do you not hear how the poem
Unfolds in the questions
Of the minds around you?

VIII

I dream bright eyes
And dark, feathered wings;
But I dream, too,
That the poem is born
In what I dream.

IX

When the poem came to an end,
It crossed the threshold
Of one in many lifetimes.

X

At the sound of poetry
Rising in a purple chorus,
Even the impresarios of opposition
Would sigh contentedly.

XI

She flew over the country
On a carpet of sound.
Once, delight pierced her,
In that she understood
The echo of her conveyance
As poetry.

XII

The mountains are shouting.
The poem must be rising.

XIII

It was spring all winter.
It was angry
And it was going to be angry.
The poem sprang
From the bone marrow.

(trace poem of “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” by Wallace Stevens. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/45236 )

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