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13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

The Favorite Poem Project: Kathy Kuhn reads Wallace Stevens

Kathy Kuhn, director of education and training at the Institute for Geriatric Social Work
“13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” by Wallace Stevens
“I think that the images are so strong and the contrasts in it are very powerful. I wrote about this poem for a philosophy class 30 years ago — it had a lot of meaning to me then, and it still does now.”

"By reading poems we love aloud, we can learn how much pleasure there can be in the sounds of words,” says Robert Pinsky, a CAS professor and former U.S. poet laureate. “It’s as though saying the words of a poem aloud makes one feel more able, more capable than in ordinary life. You enter a different state.”

Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project in 1997 during the first of an unprecedented three terms as poet laureate to encourage Americans to celebrate and explore their love of poetry. Since then, the project — now directed by BU poet Maggie Dietz (GRS’97) — has produced three anthologies and more than 1,000 readings around the country.

Throughout the semester, BU Today features a member of the BU community reading his or her favorite poem. Any student or faculty or staff member can participate.

If you’d like to read your favorite poem for BU Today, e-mail us at today@bu.edu.

Click here to listen to Andrew Clark read Robert Hass.

Click here to listen to Hakim Walker (CAS’09) read Martin Luther King, Jr.

Click here to listen to an autumn’s worth of favorite poems.