13 ways of looking at a blackbird. A composition of moral order by Wallace Stevens.

stevensAmong twenty snowy mountains, the only moving thing, was the eye of the black bird. 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, (disbelievers), 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.


Presence of an External Master of Knowledge. Wallace Stevens. EPOPTEIA: the homages.

Under the shape of his sail, Ulysses,Symbol of the seeker, crossing by night,The giant sea, read his own mind. He said, “As I know, I am and have The right to be.” He guided his boat Beneath the middle stars and said:”Here I feel the human loneliness And that, in space and solitude, Which knowledge is: the world and fate, The right within me and about me, Joined in a triumphant vigor, Like a direction on which I depend . . .A longer, deeper breath sustains This eloquence of right, since knowing And being are one – the right to know Is equal to the right to be. The great Omnium descends on me, Like an absolute out of this eloquence.”The sharp sail of Ulysses seemed, In the breathings of that soliloquy, Alive with an enigma’s flittering, And bodying, and being there, As he moved, straightly, on and on Through clumped stars dangling all the way.sparkling white swans

WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS 21st century poetry by America’s leading poet

The Descent
by William Carlos Williams

The descent beckons
as the ascent beckoned.
Memory is a kind
of accomplishment,
a sort of renewal
an initiation, since the spaces it opens are new places
inhabited by hordes
heretofore unrealized,
of new kinds—
since their movements
are toward new objectives
(even though formerly they were abandoned).

No defeat is made up entirely of defeat—since
the world it opens is always a place
unsuspected. A
world lost,
a world unsuspected,
beckons to new places
and no whiteness (lost) is so white as the memory
of whiteness,

With evening, love wakens
though its shadows
which are alive by reason
of the sun shining—
grow sleepy now and drop away
from desire.

Love without shadows stirs now
beginning to awaken
as night

The descent
made up of despairs
and without accomplishment
realizes a new awakening:
which is a reversal
of despair.
For what we cannot accomplish, what
is denied to love,
what we have lost in the anticipation—
a descent follows,
endless and indestructible.