Sunday, June 13, 2010

The only moving thing

I bring down this haiku by Edith Bartholomeusz that graced this header space these past weeks:

into the sun
where eyes can’t follow
a red tailed hawk

In its stead, one way of looking at a blackbird from Wallace Stevens' Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.

The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

I didn't understand this wonderful poem when I first read it; perhaps I still haven't fully. I turned it round and round as if it was a beautiful locked box, left it lying on the shelf a while, went back to examine it. Then one day when I was old enough, brave enough to let go of structure, it came through.

When poets talk, I feel sometimes, it is rude to stare at the words themselves, beautiful though they might be; that you must look politely at the spaces in between while you listen.

In this twelfth way Stevens offers, sometimes I see a rough but vivid charcoal image - the river is moving. The water is choppy, but fleetingly, fragmentedly reflected in the waters... a hint of a black bird.


footloose said...

what an image!

Sheetal said...

you liked my charcoal image?! I wish I could draw :-( or just plug a usb into my head and play!