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seductively like plenitude

September 1, 2009

Early Stevens–“The Snow Man”:

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow.

Midcareer Stevens–“The Man With the Blue Guitar”:

It is the sea that whitens the roof.
The sea drifts through the winter air.
It is the sea that the north wind makes.
The sea is in the falling snow.

Late Stevens–“The Course of a Particular”:

Today the leaves cry, hanging on branches swept by wind,
Yet the nothingness of winter becomes a little less.
It is still full of icy shades and shapen snow.

These poems, like any of Stevens’s best poems, make deprivation feel seductively like plenitude.

(read reviews–The Nation or NYTimes–of Wallace Stevens: Selected Poems by Wallace Stevens; John N. Serio, ed.)

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2009 9:53 am

    oh
    how beautiful!

    “It must be this rhapsody or none,
    The rhapsody of things as they are.”

    and it is, indeed, the rhapsody of snow.

  2. September 1, 2009 9:57 am

    snow 🙂

  3. September 26, 2009 10:26 am

    Really nice posts. I will be checking back here regularly.

  4. February 26, 2010 4:36 pm

    Beautiful.

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