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One Must Have a Mind of Winter

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.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Casey Klahn February 22, 2019, 8:30 PM


    I’ve explored and climbed around a number of ice caves, both glacial and water ice caves. In Washington, there are notable low-altitude ice caves because of the cold, wet climate. We have one ice cave about an hour from my place known as “The Devil’s Punchbowl”. It is a very fitting name.

  • bob sykes February 24, 2019, 4:33 AM

    Frost was more influential than many people credit him. Besides Stevens, Wendell Berry comes to mind.

    I grew up in New England, and you swing on birches.

  • Anonymous February 24, 2019, 5:02 PM

    If you’re going to quote Wallace Stevens, you should probably understand him.