Read the original poem: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Thirteen Ways of Reading a Poem


My sincere apologies

to le meilleur poète — WS.



Among all the tamed word-animals,

The only poor soul that gets overfed

Is a tiny parakeet called poetry.



I am a three-headed hydra—

Each head turns towards

The good, the bad, and the ugly.



Before reading a poem, hurl the book

Across the room to see how far it can travel—

Enjoy the brief pantomime.



A poet and a poem

Are one.

A poet and a poem and a reader

Are one.



I do not know what to choose,

The canticle of da-DUM da-DUM

Or the beauty of concrete cats,

The reader scrolling through a modern verse,

Or the head-scratching later.



Words fill up the pages

With almost a moronic pride.

A poem takes its form, ousts

The poet from his erstwhile station—

The mood

Traced across the contours of your face

Betrays any semblance of joy.



O vaudeville poets of vanity,

Why do you compose lines

About an incidental carafe waltzing

With Retsina across the broken ballroom?

Do you not see how your poem

Begs to be understood, like a curious

Dog tugging at its owner’s pyjamas?



I know indecipherable lines

And verbose, intolerable stanzas

That’d put Stein & Stevens to shame—

But then who will know

What I know, that only I seem to know?



When a poem flies off a poet’s desk,

It leaves a long scratch on the faces

Of innumerable crackajacks.



At the sight of poets yodelling

Their abstruse academic verse,

Even theoretical physicists

Weep in utter despair.



He walked barefoot across the Sahara

To understand the meaning

Of a poem that talked about blackbirds

Above his head

He saw shadows of death, looming

Like a dozen blackbirds.



The cursor is moving—

The poet must be typing.



It was midnight all morning.

Cats and dogs fell from the purple sky

And they kept falling—

Until the poet sat naked

On the balcony, stroking


Poetry by MetaPoetics The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 324 times
star mini Editors' choice
Written on 2022-04-01 at 16:47

Tags Parody  Pastiche  Humour 

dott Save as a bookmark (requires login)
dott Write a comment (requires login)
dott Send as email (requires login)
dott Print text

Editorial Team The PoetBay support member heart!
Your poem has been chosen to be featured on the home page of PoetBay. Thank you for posting on our poetry website!

Uncle Meridian The PoetBay support member heart!
Oh, this is a joy! And the mimesis of Stevens is enhanced nicely by your own touches of brilliance. Bravo, and indeed bravissimo!

(I laughed out loud at X and XII.)

one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
This is rich and fun and enough erudition to please Stevens himself (I'm guessing).

I've never thrown a book of poetry across the room, but if I were to it would most likely be one of Stevens'.

D G Moody The PoetBay support member heart!
This one is just demanding I read it again...slowly. And yes the homage to Wallace Stevens works well, with the transposing of poetics it stands for itself.