“Thoughts from Steven’s Snow Man”©

1 Comment

What is known of kindness from

the perspective of man?

Should we say,”Winter is patient,”

or even,”It is Springtime’s plan?”

In the absence of kindness man

can still exist but not live,

to exist is to survival what life

is to living… through meaning we give

to humanity such thoughts, notions

and ideas we’d ponder on- so silly,

as for ‘the mind of winter’ taken

so seriously as to be soon chilly,

ever heard of a benevolent

carnivore? This is Machiavelli…

the dog-eat-dog mentality of our own,

no longer more Stevens or Shelley

but we’d miss out on Stevens meaning…

his excellence of wit and thought,

‘nothing that is not there and the nothing

that is,’ no human misery found or sought.

Stevens, in his work “The Snow Man,” regarded winter for its tranquility… for having the absence of hum-drum activity of man and nature itself. Lines like,”… not to think of any misery in the sound of the wind,” and,”the sound of the land,” then shifting from sound to sight near the end with,”For the listener, who listens in the snow… beholds,” would direct us to thoughts of an absence from misery itself seen in nature’s wonderland. To think on the mind of winter… in this work, simply meant we need to slow down to seek the stillness nature offers us (at times) and marvel in it.

This one poem has been interpreted by many, since it was written, and appears to have drawn as many to critical points of: philosophy, morality, Biblical thought, ontological and epistemological musings. The best representation I’ve read, and seen on the net, with its many variations is found here. The one I agree with most is Beverly Meader- under Section two (#2).

If by argument in favor of Pound’s Modernist teaching… giving way to Imagism and a ‘less is more’ viewpoint, we should attempt to view Steven’s ‘Snow Man’ with a more valued view to ‘the transcendental qualities’ Wallace offers us in this work. Ezra could be brittle in his own condemnation received, seen in,”Cat-piss and porcupines!!,” and an abstract from the sourced link below…

When Ezra Pound first published his ‘Homage to Sextus Propertius’ a Professor of Latin was moved by lines like this—’Nor is it equipped with a frigidaire patent’—to write complaining of Pound’s competence. The reply, beginning ‘Cat-piss and porcupines!!’, seems mild in the circumstances.(10) I promise to respond in like vein to critics who manage to notice all by themselves that there were no tanks in Powys in the 850s.

but leaning more toward Fascism than not (evidenced by his moving to Italy [1924] and was captured/arrested [1945] on charges of treason). It can be stated Pound himself would opt for ‘the thoughtful man’ to understand his writing(s) and might well despise further criticism than need be placed on it for one’s personal reasons. Odd, where he did not find favor with the critics until the fifties, under New Criticism, implying there should be a separation between the Author and the work rather than concern for external or social considerations.*

This picture of Ezra Pound was taken at the Army Disciplinary Training Center after his arrest. Source was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezra_Pound

This picture of Ezra Pound was taken at the Army Disciplinary Training Center after his arrest. Source was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezra_Pound

You can read Wallace Stevens work,”The Snow Man,” here and even hear it (through poetryfoundation.org)… and form your own conclusions. Since Ezra Pound had a strong influence on Wallace Stevens, also with: T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost, James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway… it must be a foregone conclusion to say,”They might have had a brush against Pound’s own political views once or twice.” Is it also fair to say… they knew Ezra’s mind more than most.

You can also find the image used below at this location.

Which way do you lean... on understanding Wallace Steven's "The Snow Man?"

Which way do you lean… on understanding Wallace Steven’s “The Snow Man?”

*P.S. I also find the use of New Criticism not used to rally in favor of works by LeRoi Jones, Amiri Baraka, especially the work that caused him to lose his Poet Laureate of New Jersey “status” before he died [Oct. 7, 1934- Jan. 9, 2014], with his work entitled,”Somebody Blew Up America.” The minds of critics and the general public can be fickle in their own bias presented… and time causes views to change. In the Fifties we had McCarthyism… at a time when, I would expect, this (New Criticism) became a mechanism to be able to appreciate one poet over another or engage in criticism- without reprisal to association with the Author’s leaning or political bias. A way for Fascism to thrive in the face of freedom; which was masked by intellectualism. I think if a work can stand the test of time itself… by whatever Author, criticism (however valued or not) will continue, and it (the writing) can gain an intrinsic transcendental quality on its own merit.

P.S.S. Little wonder we can see the signs of Fascism thriving today, at: Sporting events (with Corporate Sponsorship), the rise of a growing intolerance for anything Christian (where ‘free will’ and thinking on what we’ve been taught to learn from extends to ‘the Great Commission’)… as Fascism is a growing cooperation between government and Corporations to an unholy status.

“When silence is deafening”©

Leave a comment

Where is the sense of outrage

to the oppression of Israel,

for the persecuted church or

for their images so visceral,

to the Moslems in the path

of destruction… sure included

and slighted by those silent

and belligerent, so occluded,

if one stands against the action

it would not matter by who…

unless it is to show true signs

of approval until its through.

For someone to take the position that it is not OK for God to do what man is now (openly) doing- this is not nor will it ever be neutrality by nature but an openly clear sign of endorsement. There is nothing to be more naked in appearance than hate for the rest of humanity one would so strongly oppose.

Job 8:13 KJV


13 So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish:

"The Jewish misfortune cookie." If we should slight the lesson given us then injustice is that which will rise to choke us all.

“The Jewish misfortune cookie.” If we should slight the lesson given us then injustice is that which will rise to choke us all. Just click on the image itself to get a better view!

If I had to call the image anything at all… it would be,”The Jewish misfortune cookie.” Yes, misfortune befell the Jewish people, and sometimes it was self aggravated, i.e. from a result of pride, rebellion to God’s desires over their own, actions they took as a people, not listening to what God told them to do (often for their own benefit)- slighting the importance of the moment or the gravity of the situation in which they were positioning themselves. Sometimes, it had nothing to do with what they did… and it came down to who they were.

The biggest misfortune we face today, placing the irreverent views now firmly on the rest of us, is to disregard the suffering of God’s own people of Israel (a vital part of human history) and not thinking it is important enough to: speak out when injustice is seen, take a stand for the values one says they have or believe in. To remain silent in our complacency is to  assuredly welcome this event as inevitable to scar the memory of humankind by seeing it happen again- spawned by our own arrogance and ignorance to consequences of our inaction or actions favoring it as a sound determination.