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Vendler views the second section as a manifestation of the intellectual's fate. In being of three minds instead of two, she sees in the speaker "ambivalence to the point of eccentricity" (Vendler, 11).

Lewis describes the second section of the poem as a presentation of an object not seen in reality, but as a visualization of a "thing seen ... literally in the mind's eye." He notes that there is no thing actually seen in the section, but "only a thing considered." Lewis describes the simile therein as being an essential part of Stevens' poetry. While others, such as Ezra Pound, might see it as merely an accessory ornamentation, Stevens found such ornamentation as a necessary means of relating experience through descriptive reiteration (Lewis, 67).

In contrast to Lewis, McNamara states that Stevens' depiction of the speaker as being "of three minds" is, in fact, concretized by the visual image of "a tree/ In which there are three blackbirds" (446).

Bogen notes in her article that section two is comparable to haiku in that it is of three lines. Also, through what she percieves to be "unrelated images" in this section, Bogen finds that it employs renso (217).

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