There’s always light at the end of the tunnel,
’less it’s real dark. Then it’s all
What you believe in.
What if Wallace Stevens imagined talking to a blackbird rather than looking at one, or if William Carlos Williams had pulled back from that red wheelbarrow to include the sideyard with the chickens within the frame, or if the “you” in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” replied to “Let us go, then, you and I”? The poems in Thirteen Ways of Talking to a Blackbird explore various “what ifs,” re-visioning and re-hearing commonly taught American poems, partly in homage, partly in resistance, but above all in the belief that these poems are a living tradition—occasions for dialogue and re-imaginings, not a dead canon.
Tim Hunt is a poet of many voices….This book is: “. . . a tip-toed prance across / The high wire as the crowd gapes / In wonder at the tricks. . . .”
Susan Terris, author of The Ghost of Yesterday