Monday, February 18, 2013

Analysis of "The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens

Original poem reprinted online here: "The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens
Originally read: December 13, 2012
More information about the Poet: Wallace Stevens

I was particularly harsh with this poem when I first read it.  Well actually when I read this poem on the 13th, I probably read this poem a couple times because I think I received a Christmas Card with this poem on it.  I never looked in depth in it thought because I thought, "okay winter poem."

And on first written analysis, I took the poem as a nature poem trying to have something hidden beneath it and I wrote comments like, "Bland and a bit cliche," or "There's something hidden here but somethings not fitting"  because the description of nature isn't that surprising or the technique in the poem to transfer the season to the mind has been done many times before.

However, when I read the poem out loud this morning, I found that I really like this poem based on sound.  Everything flowed well together.  The repetition of "sound," and then "same" and then "nothing" fits sonically and when I think of the flow of emotion -- misery to nothing and how repetition is meant to remember something -- then I feel the progress of a season in a different way.  Not visually, not image wise, rather, I feel winter in the mind in the last half of the poem.

Duh, right?


  1. I thought a lot of people in the whatever-the-number-of-that-class-was glommed on to this on because of it's blandness. Seems to offer an easier way in than a lot of Stevens, i.e., "The Idea of Order..." or even "The Emperor of Ice Cream." Sonically, I think you've hit it. Wallace will even force you into it: "the listener, who listens in the snow..." Yada yada yada.

  2. Ha. I though that this account was my blogger account but no. So, yet another Kevin McGee email revealed. How exciting.