Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday's Mini-challenge: Wallace Stevens

Hi everyone ~  As part of my feature poet series, I am happy to showcase the work of Wallace Stevens, one of America's most respected poets.  


Wallace Stevens was a master stylist, employing an extraordinary vocabulary and a rigorous precision in crafting his poems. But he was also a philosopher of aesthetics, vigorously exploring the notion of poetry as the supreme fusion of the creative imagination and objective reality. Because of the extreme technical and thematic complexity of his work, Stevens was sometimes considered a willfully difficult poet. But he was also acknowledged as an eminent abstractionist and a provocative thinker, and that reputation has continued since his death. In 1975, for instance, noted literary critic Harold Bloom, whose writings on Stevens include the imposing Wallace Stevens: The Poems of Our Climate, called him "the best and most representative American poet of our time." 

You can read more about his life here.    

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Among twenty snowy mountains,   
The only moving thing   
Was the eye of the blackbird.   

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,   
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.   

Please continue reading here.

Our challenge is to write a new poem or prose poem inspired by a line, title, verse or style of Wallace Stevens.   I look forward to reading your work.   Please don't forget to visit and return the comments of your fellow poets.   Happy Sunday !  Grace (aka Heaven


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Technically it isnt midnight here yet, am just going to bed. This was a timely prompt for me, Grace. Thanks for the inspiration.

Sumana Roy said...

A wonderful prompt Grace..

Grace said...

Happy Sunday everyone ~ Thanks for linking up early Sherry & Sumana ~

Ravenblack said...

Happy Sunday everyone.

This is a fun prompt. Wallace Steven's poems are so challenging to read, it's like being in a few different places at the same time. :)

Grace said...

And I enjoyed your take Ravenblack, smiles ~

brudberg said...

I wish I could take part, but lots of things to do after my vacation. I will try my best to do something later tonight.

Anonymous said...

So many wonderful prompts today! Have to find time! This was a great one!

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Hello everyone,

Hope you like my poem, it was a difficult prompt but I did my best :)
Thank you Grace for the opportunity!


Grace said...

Looking forward to it Bjorn ~ CC & Sanaa, thanks for linking up ~

hedgewitch said...

This is one I certainly can relate to Grace, and even though I have written many poems for,to, or strongly influenced by Stevens, I did find a way to pull out yet one more. Thanks!

Kerry O'Connor said...

I have made it to Day 12 of NaPoWriMo but tomorrow I return to work as my Easter vacation is over. I am not sure whether I will be able to keep up the pace of writing or reading but I will try my best.

brudberg said...

I managed to find some time... finally. Today I have sent in my second draft of a short story compilation we are writing... 5300 words is a quite bit longer than a normal poem of mine.

Grace said...

These are lovely poetic shares ~ I am glad you found his work inspiring ~ Bjorn, good luck with the short story as I don't have the energy to even write 1000 words ~

Wolfsrosebud said...

this was a cool form to write... thanks for the prompt... it was a bit like story telling

Marian said...

I too have been long inspired by Wallace Stevens... and fear this effort is not so strong. But here it is! #12! And Blogger is giving me a big headache, argh.

Outlawyer said...

Hey Grace, thanks for the great prompt. Really enjoyed thinking about Stevens this time of month. k.

Mark Kerstetter said...

Love Stevens. Thanks for the prompt.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Hello all, here's a poem about a black bird, and a photo as a bonus!

grapeling said...

not sure if it's quite to the prompt, but offered nonetheless...


Hannah said...

Thank you for this challenge, Grace!

The Bizza said...

This was a fun challenge. And I need to familiarize myself with more of Mr. Stevens' work!

Susie Clevenger said...

Grace, thank you so much for the inspiration and I am sorry for being so late.

Grace said...

Thanks for all your lovely responses. I am slowly making my rounds this morning ~ Have a good week everyone ~

Ella said...

Grace, I am sorry I missed your challenge. I will try to write to this challenge another time. We had family home and then company.
I will be by to read what I missed~