Vendler takes from section seven the concept of idealization or, rather, how the human psyche comes to idealize something. Vendler also mentions the idea of an erotic motivation behind the idealization that is seen in this section, listing "the local (Haddam, Connecticut) as the site of reproach" (12).
The first line of section seven, in which the speaker addresses the "thin men of Haddam," is rather interesting, particularly when the concluding lines of the previous section, "The mood/ Traced in the shadow/ An indecipherable cause," are taken into account. The ideas of both causes as shadows (universally bleak and empty in their indecipherability) and of the thinness described in the men of Haddam draws close parallel to an idea presented in several poems by William Butler Yeats. In the fourth section of the poem "Among School Children" Yeats envisions the present image of Maude Gonne, the unobtainable object of the poet's love throughout his lifetime, as "Hollow of cheek as though it drank the wind / And took a mess of shadows for its meat." This image is again presented by Yeats in the poem "In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markievicz" (link), when he describes Eva Gore-Booth as "withered old and skeleton-gaunt," and, in the second stanza, when the poet addresses the two deceased sisters directly as "Dear shadows." The depictions of these three women as images of malnourishment stems directly from what Yeats saw as their loss of beauty, both spiritual and physical, due to having devoted their lives to the political action of blind nationalist fervor, described by the poet as "All the folly of a fight/ With a common wrong or right." It is here that Yeats' sentiments parallel those of Wallace Stevens in what McNamara sees as the "key to the poem." Both poets were concerned with the prospect of those around them losing sight of what is important, the true beauty of the world around them, in lieu of abstract, false ideals. Yeats saw this occur in three very central figures in his life that starved themselves on misguided words and empty politics. Stevens, too, presents the same image of "thin men" who "imagine golden birds," likely symbolic of their preoccupation with the intangible idea of a Christian heaven which, like "politic words," pales in comparison to the very real and satisfying beauty of this world, and "the blackbird/ [that] Walks around the feet/ Of the women about [them]."
McNamara summarizes the effext of this comparison: "Having chosen the study of nature as the ultimate source of truth, Stevens...asks the 'thin men of Haddam,' those men who seek in 'golden birds' a higher glory, why they ignore the discernible reality of 'the blackbird that /Walks around the feet/Of the women about you.' [...] It is consistent with the poet's view of reality that he designates such men as 'thin,' in the sense that their vision of reality was distorted, their concerns being directed away from earthly reality" (McNamara, 447).
This possible connection between sections six and seven likely represents the only occurrence of any of Stevens' thirteen sections not standing utterly independent of each other. While a few critics see "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" as having a faint semblance of logical progression from section to section, most Stevens authorities believe that if the sections were to be shuffled, the poem's message and impact as a whole would remain safely intact.
Though he questions whether or not this section or the following one may be presenting real images, Lewis argues that, in both sections, the blackbird is shown as "the symbolic embodiment of the intrinsic relation between reality and the imagination." However, as far as imagery is concerned, Lewis feels that these are the weakest of the thirteen sections in that they "seem less vivid [...] examples of 'direct presentation' than rhetorical statements" (74-5).
Bogen notes in section seven a relation to haiku through what she calls "three line sense units" (217).