Naviarhaiku171 – Among twenty snowy mountains,


The author of the week is Wallace Stevens, one of the most well-known and respected poets of the 20th century. “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird“ is probably his best-known poem, and this week’s assignment is its first stanza.

“Thirteen  Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” is a sequence of thirteen Imagist poems written in variable syllabic verse. Line length varies from two to ten syllables,  but the norm is four to eight syllables per line, thus approximating in English  the line lengths of Japanese forms such as the haiku, the senryu, and the tanka,  all of which utilize five- and seven-syllable lines. In effect, Wallace Stevens’s  series is a sequence of Japanese-style Zen poems. The unifying factor in the  series is the image of the blackbird, which appears in each of the numbered  sections of the set; each poem otherwise stands on its own and offers an insight  either into “the nature of the universe,” as does the haiku, or into  "the nature of mankind,“ as does the senryu.  (from Terebess)

Read the whole poem at:


DEADLINE: 19th April

Poem by Wallace Stevens

Picture by Jan Erik Waider