New Year’s Eve Guest: ‘The Snow Man’

I don’t know much of Wallace Stevens. But what I know, I like and never tire of coming back to. Here’s “The Snow Man,” a poem one critic terms the best short poem in the English language (it’s a claim made on NPR a few years ago and is worth reading in its own right.)

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.

nd whether you get around to reading any of this tonight or not, have a great New Year’s Eve, wherever you are, and a wonderful new year.  

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