Analysis Of “13 Ways Of Looking At A Blackbird”

Sample essay topic, essay writing: Analysis Of "13 Ways Of Looking At A Blackbird" - 537 words

Analysis of '13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird' "Thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird" by Wallace Stevens is a poemabout what it means to really know something. In this poem, Stevens shows thisconnection by writing a first person poem about a poet's observation andcontemplation's when viewing a blackbird. He does this by making each stanza anexplanation of a new way he has perceived this blackbird. First, he writes abouthis physical perception of the blackbird as an observer. Then, he writes aboutthe his mental processes during this time.

These are as the thoughts andperceptions of the blackbird itself, as what it must be like to be that bird. Bythe end, he has concluded that by seeing this blackbird, a connection has beenmade and he now knows the blackbird has becomes a part of him. In the first stanza, he focuses on the eye of the blackbird as anoutside observer. This symbolizes the thoughts and the consciousness of theblackbird. It is also a transition from the observer's perception to theblackbird's perception

In the second stanza, Stevens goes on to say that hewas of "three minds, Like a tree, In which there are three blackbirds." This wasthe first time he makes the connection between seeing the blackbird and himhimself metaphorically being the blackbird. He makes this connection even moreclear in the fourth stanza when he says that "A man and a woman Are one. A manand a woman and a blackbird are one.' In the sixth stanza he goes back to beingthe poet observer as he watches the blackbird fly by his icy window. Again inthe next stanza he goes back to the point of view of the blackbird wondering whythe men of Haddam only imagine golden birds instead of realizing the value ofthe common blackbird. At this time, he makes the connection that in seeing andknowing the blackbird it becomes a part of himself.

When he says in the eighthstanza "I know noble accents And lucid, inescapable rhythms; But I know, too, That the blackbird is involved In what I know." he is acknowledging that he isstill a poet but when he sees, thinks, and writes about the blackbird, in a wayhe is also the blackbird. After this, the black bird and the poet observer areseparated but in the twelfth stanza Stevens writes "The river is moving. Theblackbird must be flying." This is meant to show that though the observer'sconnection with the blackbird is made by seeing it, after the blackbird is gonehe still knows it. It is still a part of him. This poem addresses two things. First, it addresses the epistemologicalmeaning of knowing something.

Philosophically, it could be said that by seeingor thinking about another being through its own eyes one could make theconnection of knowing it. By knowing it, I mean knowing it's perception ofreality. This leads into the second matter that Stevens addresses in "ThirteenWays of Looking at a Blackbird.' Steven's says that he knows himself as a poetand that is a part of himself as a person. However, since he also knows theblackbird, that perception makes the blackbird a part of him as well. Thisconnection is what goes into the conclusion "a man and a woman and a blackbirdare one.".

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