Student Writer Instructions:
"13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" is an interesting poem by Wallace Stevens. It looks at a simple topic--a blackbird--using thirteen different sets of "poetic eyes." Each stanza contains a very different way to look at or think about a blackbird. Some of the stanzas are cryptic and strange, but you do not need to understand every stanza in order to complete today's assignment.
Today, you will be choosing four of the thirteen stanzas. Choose four where you are impressed with the way the words and ideas connect together, even if you're not 100% clear about what Stevens is trying to say.
Next, you will plan to write four observations about a different topic. You may NOT use a blackbird, but you may choose any other topic that you know about or have recently learned about.
Using interesting details about your topic, you will write an impersonation of the four stanzas you've chosen from Wallace Stevens' original poem. Your impersonations need to resemble the original stanza in shape and sentence structure, but using a different topic to write about should make the stanzas unique to you.
When finished, share your stanzas with a classmate, and see how long it takes him/her to figure out which stanza from the original poem you are impersonating.