Monday, January 11, 2010
"One must have a mind of winter"
Yesterday we woke up to an Arctic freeze, and today we're back to an ordinary Tennessee chill. When you live where the winters are mild it's easy to forget the special beauty that bitter cold creates. An ice-blue sky, glittering snow, the perfect silence that falls when it's so cold that no animals stir--these are rare pleasures for us.
The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens
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.
Text from Poets.org
Jay Keyser analyzes the poem here.
Garden under Snow, Paul Gauguin, 1879