The entire poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, by the wildly abstract Wallace Stevens remains a mystery to me. Pick any stanza. Let’s say, V.
Is it a stretch to say that Stanza V opposes two types of beauty? (Probably, but Ben Huberman’s post led me here. A complex and divergent literary trip, to be sure, not unlike the one through this poem.)
How will-o’-the-ˈwispy Stevens can be. Those opposing beauties?
Might he mean one distinct and the other suggestive, that the blackbird’s whistling is there to illustrate?
No matter. Just click here to read about the Wallace Stevens Walk in Hartford, CT. You may even feel compelled to write a ‘Thirteen Ways’ koan. (BTW, a central theme of many koans is the ‘identity of opposites’.) Have a go, be inscrutable like Wally and his blackbird. Zen-like, even.
If two wings flap and there is a sound, what is the sound of one wing flapping?