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Vintage Wallace Stevens book as seen at Capitol Hill Books in Washington, DC ©Author Adventures

The Walk in Hartford, Connecticut

The Wallace Stevens Walk features the stanzas of his famous Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird poem (https://www.poetryfoundation.org). The walk operates like a geocache activity mirroring Wallace Stevens’ daily life in Hartford. (It is similar, in some ways, to John Denver‘s lyric etchings in Aspen, Colorado.)

The walk begins at 690 Asylum Avenue with the first stanza of the poem:

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

The walk includes a total of 13 stops to correspond with the 13 stanzas of his Looking at a Blackbird poem. It ends at Stevens’s former house at 118 Westerly Terrace. There literary travelers will discover a marker with the final stanza:

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

Hartford is a midsize city with a long history as the celebrated home of publishers, editors, and bestselling authors, especially of the 19th century, such as Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

About the Poet

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) was trained as a Harvard lawyer and later worked as an executive in the insurance industry — neither of which are typical paths for a New England poet of the first half of the 20th century. Nevertheless, he became a highly respected published writer, earning a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, National Book Award for Poetry, and the Robert Frost Medal for his published works.

For more information about the poet, click here: poets.org.

You can also read about him here: Wallace Stevens in Pennsylvania,

If you want information on geocaching, check out geocaching.com.

The Wallace Stevens Walk is the first stop on our Connecticut Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart