"Ten Ways of Looking at Jill"

Ten Ways of Looking at Jill

I
Among four big horses
the only equine that was small,
was Jill.

II
The mule ran in the summer breeze
She was part of my pantomime.

III
A cart and a harness are useful,
a cart, a harness, and Jill
are a broken cart.

IV
I do not know which to prefer,
chasing Jill
or having her chase me back.

V
Didn’t Mary ride on a mule on her way
to Bethlehem?
If Mary attempted to ride on Jill She wouldn’t
have made it to Bethlehem.

VI
Long ears and shiny black fur
make up the mule.

VII
At the sight of Jill’s yellow eyes
and the sound of her snorting
in the dead of night, even the toughest
of brothers run in fear.

VIII
The horses are leaving.
Jill must follow.

IX
“Come on, you stubborn mule,”
nags the patient farmer.

X
It was hot all morning.
It was humid,
and it was going to be humid.
The mule rolls
in the
cool dirt.

Silly Jill


Based on Wallace Stevens’ Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird





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