Vendler takes from section six the of experience as being necessarily mediated, and never unmediated. From this, Vendler explicated the different degrees of detachment which the speaker suffers from the real world, stating: "The poet's mood is caused not by the blackbird, but by its shadow, itself transmitted through two panes of glass - the 'civilized' architectural window and the natural 'barbaric glass' of the icicles outside it. The blackbirds contrary movement 'to and fro' and the haunting of the window by the blackbird's shadow convey the interior distress of the speaker, who sees experience through so many mediations that it becomes 'indecipherable'" (Vendler, 12).
McNamara notes that section six examines the obfuscation of reality much the same as icicles obscure the vision of the speaker (447).
Stevens' description of ice as "barbaric glass" calls to mind the ghastly beauty that nature, at times, embodies in various forms, such as that found by Robert Frost in his poem "Birches". Also present is the way in which nature's subtleties affect the human psyche, as Stevens' speaker talks of "The mood/ Trac[ing] in the shadow/ An indecipherable cause." This, too, is a subject explored by other poets, most notably Emily Dickinson in (258) "There's a certain Slant of Light".
Lewis contrasts this sixth section with the opening section of the poem. Both sections contain a rather large image that is seemingly being viewed in unison with the image of the blackbird (or its shadow, as in this section). However, while Lewis feels that in section one superimposition would be required for the reader to see the blackbird along with the "twenty snowy mountains" as one image, he argues that with section seven "we needn't even superimpose in thought one image upon another because they may both be readily encompassed in one view." In other words, one could easily imagine viewing both "the long window / with barbaric glass" and the blackbird's shadow as one cohesive image in section seven, whereas it would be more difficult to imagine viewing both "twenty snowy mountains" and the eye of the blackbird in a single image (Lewis, 71).
Bogen notes section six's similarity to haiku both in its setting in the context of a season through kigo, as well its relation to the three line structure of haiku through what she calls "three line sense units" (217).