Wallace Stevens

(October 2, 1879 – August 2, 1955 / Pennsylvania / United States)

No Possum, No Sop, No Taters - Poem by Wallace Stevens

He is not here, the old sun,
As absent as if we were asleep.

The field is frozen. The leaves are dry.
Bad is final in this light.

In this bleak air the broken stalks
Have arms without hands. They have trunks

Without legs or, for that, without heads.
They have heads in which a captive cry

Is merely the moving of a tongue.
Snow sparkles like eyesight falling to earth,

Like seeing fallen brightly away.
The leaves hop, scraping on the ground.

It is deep January. The sky is hard.
The stalks are firmly rooted in ice.

It is in this solitude, a syllable,
Out of these gawky flitterings,

Intones its single emptiness,
The savagest hollow of winter-sound.

It is here, in this bad, that we reach
The last purity of the knowledge of good.

The crow looks rusty as he rises up.
Bright is the malice in his eye...

One joins him there for company,
But at a distance, in another tree.

Comments about No Possum, No Sop, No Taters by Wallace Stevens

  • Susan Williams (1/9/2016 6:02:00 PM)

    Wow! Did you stop and marvel at this stunning line
    Snow sparkles like eyesight falling to earth,
    I kept returning to it, touching its texture, tasting its syllables, and finding that line just as perfect as I did the first time.
    (Report) Reply

    23 person liked.
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  • (1/9/2016 2:35:00 PM)

    it's all winter to me...
    no sun, just snow,
    frozen field, ice
    (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (1/9/2016 9:17:00 AM)

    Wallace Stevens's poetry is quite difficult to understand - its meaning if often obscure.

    Let's take the following lines from “Montrachet-Le-Jardin”:

    What is there to love than I have loved?
    And if there be nothing more, O bright, O bright,
    The chick, the chidder-barn and grassy chives

    And great moon, cricket-impresario,
    And, hoy, the impopulous purple-plated past,
    Hoy, hoy, the blue bulls kneeling down to rest.

    I'd like to translate these verses into Italian, for a book to be published, but I can't find a logical meaning..
    Is there a poet who can tell me what they mean..? Thanks a lot
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/9/2016 4:13:00 AM)

    Narration of the nature in winter's severe cold of January is magnificent. Enjoyed the poem. Thanks for sharing.10 points. (Report) Reply

  • Kelly Kurt (3/25/2015 1:47:00 PM)

    Your way with words is striking. I felt it all. Thank you for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Gajanan Mishra (3/25/2015 4:22:00 AM)

    bright is the malice, thanks, I like it. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, March 25, 2015

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