The Snow Man
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
Stevens is one of my favorite poets. Having just experienced one of the worst intervals of hard freezes and wind chills in the teens on our little farm in N. Florida just recently, I feel motivated to post this remarkable poem now. We were absolutely bludgeoned by the cold. I feared for the animals’ lives. Most plants died and I didn’t hear a bird for four days. Unheard of! But we survived, if barely. We are terribly ill-equipped for this kind of unusual weather. It’s not normal in our “climate.”
The last line of the poem is a humdinger. After the last week, I must say, I really get this poem.
To find out more about this remarkable American poet whose reputation grows exponentially every year, I strongly encourage you to click on the link at the top or this one Wallace Stevens.