14 Functions for Wallace Stevens's 'Blackbirds'
This website accompanies the essay, "Lines of Sight: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a System (Organism, Poem, or Otherwise)," featured in the electronic book review.
In Ecological Poetics, or Wallace Stevens’s Birds (Chicago, 2020), Cary Wolfe offers a deeply probing and densely theoretical engagement with the poetry of Wallace Stevens. Throughout, Wolfe asserts that Stevens is an ecological poet, a status conferred largely on account of his (Stevens's) exploration of non-representational aesthetics. Yet even as Stevens's poetry largely eschews a point-for-point correspondence between literary expression and real-world objects, the use of sensory language is central to his work.
This browser-based application allows for an analysis of any text according to a vocabulary of the senses. That is, if a text has more words related to seeing than hearing, or more words related to smelling than touching, etc, the app will assign a "seeing" or "smelling" dominant, respectively. Additionally, by checking out the "about" page, users are welcome to explore other scripts—13 total—that were inspired by Stevens's poem. Readers interested in the larger project are encouraged to read the accompanying essay, "Lines of Sight: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a System (Organism, Poem, or Otherwise)," in the electronic book review.
To try out this application, simply upload any .txt file here.