Once, a fear pierced him, In that he mistook The shadow of his equipage For blackbirds. Thank you for sharing your viewpoint. Many people have pointed out the way the of this poem are similar to haikus. Stevens' English shows that its power comes from revolving within a space it is familiar with in order to make strange new relationships within it. You'll notice that each of these has very few words.
I have been looking all over to find a meaningful analysis, and I finally found it. V I do not know which to prefer, The beauty of inflections Or the beauty of innuendoes, The blackbird whistling Or just after. Each one could kind of be seen as its own little poem. He rode over Connecticut In a glass coach Once, a fear pierced him, In that he mistook the shadow of his equipage For blackbirds. Such moves take place within very small poems whose referential boundaries are established by visual, spatial images. Consider the 12th stanza: The river is moving. In this vein, the resolution of the two statements into a hypothetical third statement of the implied syllogism would produce nonsense.
A man and a woman and a blackbird Are one. That which is beyond us remains irreducibly the Other, to be noted, respected, acknowledged, if not altogether seen. V I do not know which to prefer, The beauty of inflections Or the beauty of innuendoes, The blackbird whistling Or just after. Copyright © 2000 by the Regents of the University of California. He was always trying to have readers think, no doubt partly because he was an attorney. Often they are a series, a variation on a theme. V I do not know which to prefer, The beauty of inflections Or the beauty of innuendoes, The blackbird whistling Or just after.
The blackbird must be flying. Autoplay next video I Among twenty snowy mountains, The only moving thing Was the eye of the black bird. This closed-in feeling depicts how, many times, we limit ourselves to our own preferences and opinions. Because they are self-contained like this, Stevens is pointing out that each perspective is itself as important as the blackbird. Although ominous in its blackness, it is also promising for its ability to escape all but the determinism of movement itself.
The mood Traced in the shadow An indecipherable cause. This semester I am teaching poetry again and admitted to my students that I did not understand the poem. Such play with root meanings, real and spurious kinship, and metaphor suggests both non-referential speculation within the poem and semantic inference beyond the limited sphere of the poem. A single poem, such as this one, can be interpreted in various ways, as it should be. In reading this to describe humans, it is essentially the same. From Helen Vendler, On Extended Wings: Wallace Stevens; Longer Poems Cambridge: Harvard U P, 1969 , 75-77. The concrete object takes both visual and metaphysical precedence.
Why are there now multiple blackbirds? Look again at stanza nine: When the blackbird flew out of sight, It marked the edge Of one of many circles. The blackbird sat In the cedar-limbs. Analysis: V This stanza directly questions the nature of beauty by juxtaposing what I will call explicit and implicit beauty: the musical whistling of the blackbird, or the thought-provoking, less tangible beauty of the silence afterwards. A man and a woman and a blackbird Are one. A haiku is a short Japanese poem, generally with three short lines, for a total of 17 syllables.
It acts perhaps to unsettle the reader and remind us that there will always be things in nature to which we cannot assign an easy symbolic meaning, and which we cannot rationalize in a human scheme of organization. We can, though, see the blackbirds shadow, possibly the beauty of innuendoes? At the sight of blackbirds Flying in a green light, Even the bawds of euphony Would cry out sharply. It is a point around which degrees of distinction and equivalence, and diversity and unity, can be deployed experimentally. The paradox of predicating this imaginative and emotional reality--a bird's eye is anatomically incapable of movement--stresses its metaphorical value. The mood Traced in the shadow An indecipherable cause. The shadow of the blackbird Crossed it, to and fro. Such etymological and morphological play suggests a jouissance in the doubleness of Stevens' relationship in and to language, a pleasure to be found in the doubleness of constraint and possibility in language.
In the speculative process, which is linked to vocal utterance and music here, the movement inward is only part of the larger movement forward, enough to stop the progress of this particular section but not enough to dry up the poet's utterance. The blackbird thus becomes a figure of the very language that effects a realignment of cognitive activity within language. Once, a fear pierced him, In that he mistook The shadow of his equipage For blackbirds. No tricks, no gimmicks, no sleights of hand. Therefore I take it also to mean that when something is amiss within ones thoughts, even those who are devout followers of mellifluence may exclaim sharply, or simply be affected adversely by the disquieting effect the blackbirds have in that light.
Take these broken wings and learn to fly All your life You were only waiting for this moment to arise. The icicles that fill the window remind us of bars on a jail window, which portrays a closed-in feeling. But this is to ignore a distinction between skepticism and perspectivism that is crucial for Stevens' poetry. The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds; It was a small part of the pantomime. The shadow of the blackbird Crossed it, to and fro.
But here the emphasis would be on subject and object. V I do not know which to prefer, The beauty of inflections Or the beauty of innuendoes, The blackbird whistling Or just after. Once, a fear pierced him, In that he mistook The shadow of his equipage For blackbirds. However hard we may try, we fail to free ourselves from making inevitable blunders in perceiving the world as it is. The mood Traced in the shadow An indecipherable cause. Excerpted from a longer analysis in Early Stevens: The Nietzschean Intertext.