Friday, February 29, 2008

The Snow Man
One must have a mind of winter 
To regard the frost and the boughs 
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
(Wallace Stevens) 

I am reading this poem while reading the assigned readings of "symbolism". I have read a few other poems in the Norton as well that all deal with heavy symbolism. The Norton book spoke about most poetry dealing with symbolism. As i read the initial stanza of the poem i begin to scan for alliteration and other virtues of poetry. The things started to come together when i thought of the imagery that the poem has within its text. I would say that the Stevens poem does indirectly deal with symbolism in the way that it describes the landscape. Using such words as bare, nothing and full, automatically give of the impression we are speaking about a somewhat desolate location. the symbolism is that of the peace offered by solitude. In solitude the reader can perhaps begin to notice the intangibles that are, there and the nothing that is.

1 comment:

Heather L. said...

I have to say, that this poem made me think more than any of the other poems we have read so far. The first few times I read it, I had absolutely no idea what was going on and it was not until Professor Leonidas tried to explain it in class that I sort of understood the poem a little bit.

I really like all the images that Stevens gives the reader in the poem, like, "To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;"

What confused me though, is that in class Professor Leonidas mentioned that the poem is telling us not to picture images while reading the poem, but to look at the simple things that make it beautiful. . . but if we do that, then we see something extraordinary and complex anyways. It's confusing, like trying to think about how much space their is in the Universe, but pretty cool to think about anyways.