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Study Questions

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Did you feel like you knew more about blackbirds after reading this poem? Did it make you curious about blackbirds, or did it make you think you had heard enough about them to last a lifetime?
  2. What do you know about Asian art and poetry? Why do you think people say this poem is influenced by forms such as the haiku?
  3. Judging by the development of the poem, what would be the fourteenth way of looking at a blackbird?
  4. How does the poem develop from section to section? Is there a narrative or some of order, or is each section independent of the others?
  5. Which was your favorite section and why? Least favorite? Most difficult? If this poem were posted in the superlatives section of a high school yearbook, which section would be voted "Most Likely to Succeed"? (We're assuming section I would win "Best Eyes").
  6. What person, place, or thing do you think would be fun to look at in thirteen different ways?

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