Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.
Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird Summary & Analysis
by Wallace Stevens

Question about this poem?
Have a question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
Ask us
Ask us
Ask a question
Ask a question
Ask a question

"Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" was written by one of America's most celebrated 20th century poets, Wallace Stevens. The poem was published in Stevens's classic debut collection, Harmonium (1923), and was described by the poet as thirteen different "sensations." These "sensations" are almost like short, individual poems, each of which references a blackbird in some way. As the poem's title suggests, these fragments feature different perspectives, with the bird taking on many disparate meanings as the poem unfolds. The poem is more about evoking certain feelings in the reader than in making any particular argument about birds. Overall, though, the poem does seem to suggest that reality is always a matter of perspective—that each person looks at and understands the world in their own way.

Get
Get
LitCharts
Get the entire guide to “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” as a printable PDF.
Download