Sunday, January 3, 2010

...the nothing that is...

In the poem below by Wallace Stevens, he uses a winter setting to challenge us to become one with our environment - to leave behind our imagination and projections and merge  purely with what is....adding no to be with what is not there, and the nothing that is.  Sometimes, if we are lucky, we find that the nothing that everything.  It becomes a transcendant moment.

The Snow Man
(from Harmonium , 1923)
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.

Wallace Stevens, 1879-1955


  1. That sounds like the meditation of sinking into the earth during shevasana (most likely mis-spelled), the total relaxation after yoga.

  2. Wow! Bonnie, that is a splendid poem. Thank you. It may be more than 87 years old, but it reads as though it were written early this morning. Wow.

  3. Bonnie, it is so funny, I just yesterday found that poem by Stevens and I loved it so much I saved it thinking I would do a post later...LOL
    You have done a beautiful post with his words and perfect pictures.
    Thank You!
    There is much to be heard in nothing if we listen :)

  4. Wonderful poem and wonderful snow pics ( we still did not have any :( ) What he says is also thru for every season..

  5. I had not read this poem before but the opening line was a killer:

    'One must have a mind of winter

    To regard the frost and the boughs

    Of the pine-trees crusted with snow'

    It's hard to believe that spirituality is so entrenched and rooted in the human body. It is poems like this that help nurture it. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  6. The light in your first photograph is wonderful with its deceptively warm orange glow. And I love the Snowman!


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