Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Wallace Stevens' poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" provides a great framework for other writers to work with. In fact, in a recent Alabama State Poetry Society student contest, I received a dozen or more poems on the "thirteen ways" theme. The thing the judges noticed when considering these poems is that some things cannot withstand the scrutiny of thirteen looks. For instance, one poem was about a muffin. It just didn't hold up. Today, try to write a "thirteen ways" poem. But if your subject can't go the distance, be willing to let it end where it ends.