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.

blackbird

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

Presence of an External Master of Knowledge, Wallace Stevens, 1954

Presence of an External Master of Knowledge A poem for Ulysses, The Hero.

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.

WALLACE STEVENS (1954)