The Snow Man Poem by Wallace Stevens

The Snow Man

Rating: 4.7


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.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Ryan Heap 05 October 2008

who had the audacity to give this poem any less than a 10 rating? funny funny

15 9 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 11 December 2015

Someone who “must have a mind of winter” sees frost, sees ice, sees snow and cannot conceive of the misery of the landscape. He can’t even see how the one potentially beautiful thing – the light of the January sun – is made mere glitter by the distance of the sun. Now you might say there is a very dark beauty here. But since this is my first time through the poem, I want to keep that more complicated thought in the background. Of course there is a very dark beauty, but I want to see where the poem is going first. From seeing (he saw ice & frost & snow & light & trees) we move to hearing. If this someone exists, he cannot hear the misery in the wind, nor the leaves rustling, nor the land itself. The mention of “the land” itself, the land being “full of the same wind” which blows “in the same bare place” brings our speaker to a third shift. We move from seeing to hearing to the mental state of a listener. Is this listener the “someone” talked about, a person that may not be able to figure out the misery of the land because of his own coldness? (Ashok)

21 3 Reply
Lamont Palmer 27 August 2005

This is probably my favorite Stevens poem.

12 10 Reply
May Tan 29 January 2010

I like this poem. One state of the zen is everyting is nothing, nothing is everything, and nothing is nothing. In Chinese it says '色 不 异 空 , 空 不 异 色 ; 色 即 是 空 , 空 即 是 色 。 ' They are the same.

13 8 Reply
Barry Middleton 19 November 2013

The snow man understands winter and is in unity with it and does not think it miserable because his mind is empty nothing like the empty wind and the empty place that is the world so that as he listens he beholds the absolute essence of nothingness.

11 9 Reply
Chinedu Dike 28 November 2022

Well conceived and nicely put together with conviction

0 0 Reply
Amy Harris 27 November 2022

[FOR USA]Start working from home! Great work for-Ever, Stay at Home Moms OR anyone needs an extra income. Get started. You only need a computer and a reliable computer connection so don't get late try…ddd… Worksful.com

0 0 Reply
Tonya Fleming 26 November 2022

[FOR USA]Start working from home! Great work for-Ever, Stay at Home Moms OR anyone needs an extra income. Get started. You only need a computer and a reliable computer connection so don't get late try…dcv… Worksful.com

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 26 November 2022

Great Poet with famous world's fame, great poems he created and wrote.I have enjoyed tremendously

0 0 Reply
Lungelo S Mbuyazi 22 May 2018

Simply love this imaginative poem....

0 1 Reply
READ THIS POEM IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Wallace Stevens

Wallace Stevens

Pennsylvania / United States
Close
Error Success