The Beauty of Innuendo

ASTRID HILGER BENNETT
The Beauty of Innuendo, quilt

Bennett received her BFA in printmaking from Indiana University and has exhibited and taught at various locations throughout the country. Her work has been included in Quilt National, Quilt Nihon (Japan), Quilt=Art=Quilts, Artquilt Elements, Form Not Function: Artquilts at the Carneghie, CRAFT USA and other venues. She is a member of the Surface Design Association and a Professional Artist Member of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). She is a resident of Iowa City, Iowa and was the long-time manager, now marketing director, of the Iowa Artisans Gallery.

Iowa Artisans Gallery hosts 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, based on a poem of the same name by Wallace Stevens. The exhibit includes thirteen art quilts by eleven members of the Fiber Artists Coalition and runs April 22 - May 29, 2011.

The Fiber Artists Coalition is made up of Professional Artist Members of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) from the upper Midwest. SAQA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development and documentation. Visit the Studio Art Quilt Associates' website. Learn more about the Fiber Artists Coalition and visit its blog.


Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
by Wallace Stevens

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

II
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

III
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

IV
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

V
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

VI
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

VII
O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

VIII
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

IX
When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

X
At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

XI
He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

XII
The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

XIII
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

This page was first displayed
on May 12, 2011

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