Poetry is about looking – it’s about how we see and perceive things, and it's about how we translate our observations and perceptions into written language. This week, begin "looking" by thinking about things (not feelings or people) that make you happy, inspire you, motivate you, encourage you, elevate your mood, or stir your creativity (something tangible that informs your world in a positive way).
Choose one thing and write a poem about it using the Wallace Stevens poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” for inspiration.
In thirteen short, almost mystifying sections, Stevens “looks” at a blackbird with a kind of “multiplicity of seeing,” a unique “perspectivism” that challenges the imagination to look beyond the immediately observable. Look – really look – at your subject, and write beyond the obvious into deeper layers of meaning.
You may “borrow” from the Stevens title and adapt to something like “Five Ways of Looking at Hydrangeas in Bloom.” Similar is okay, just be sure to make the poem your own. Like Stevens, you may want to organize your poem in sections (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.). Try a different number, make your sections longer or shorter, but remember that each stanza should represent a different angle of “seeing.”
An alternative prompt is to write a parody of the Stevens poem. Use the same structure, but treat your subject with humor rather than with the deep philosophical and observational insights we find in "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird."