Interpretation And Analysis Of Wallace Stevens' The Snow Man

1482 words - 6 pages

"The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens is a poem which creates a unique dramatic situation through an effective imagery, and which compels the reader to employ another way of thinking in order to both understand the poem and realize its very theme.The first thing that is noticeable about the poem is that it is actually just one long, complex sentence. There is no rhyme, and there is no particular meter. Each foot varies: the poem becomes a combination of iambs ("the frost," "and not," "the sound," "that is"), trochees ("winter," "glitter,"), anapests ("to regard," "to behold," "of the land"), dactyls ("junipers"), and others that are not of those kind ("that is blowing" - unstressed, unstressed, stressed, unstressed). Also, each line has either 3 or 4 feet, and the variation per stanza is not even regular.This very structure actualizes the opening line of the poem, which calls for "one [to] have the mind of winter." The title suggests that this is actually the mind of "the snow man." By reading and reciting the poem, one gets the sense of assuming another mind whose thoughts are the contained in the rest of the poem. The poem's structure allows this by imitating the normal way of thought, which normally does not come in complete sentences, nor in rhymes or regular rhythm. Instead, mind activity is usually a "stream of consciousness," a continuous and an uninterrupted flow of thought. Thus, the structure is appropriate for the poem, and its theme - that of leaving behind one's own mind and assuming another's - is revealed.One question that may arise with this function of the structure is this: if the poem really was meant to imitate the mind's flow of thought, then why did the poet not write the poem in just one long line instead of dividing it into five tercets of three lines each? The answer to this is another function of the structure, which is creating the poem's mood and tone. The dramatic situation is set on a cold and quiet winter day, with very little movement in the surroundings. The poem itself should be the same - gentle and unhurried, almost poignant - and it does achieve this through the necessary pauses after lines and stanzas.Other parts in which the poem is given this mood and tone include the fourth line of the poem. Actually, this line acts as a supplement for the first line, as having "the mind of winter" is linked to "[being] cold a long time." It being placed here instead of being situated immediately after the first line provides a further "slowing down" of the poem itself. Moreover, the use of one-syllable stressed words, as well as the use of assonance with the long "o" sound ("cold...long"), makes the flow of the poem slower, also reinforcing the very idea of the "long time." The same idea of one-syllable stressed words and assonance is true for the last words of the third and fourth stanza: "few leaves," and "same bare place," respectively.The support for the established theme, mood, and tone, is found in the subsequent lines,...

Find Another Essay On Interpretation and Analysis of Wallace Stevens' The Snow Man

Modernist Poets E.E. Cummings, Wallace Stevens, and T.S. Eliot Change the Face of American Poetry

1800 words - 7 pages Modernist Poets E.E. Cummings, Wallace Stevens, and T.S. Eliot Change the Face of American Poetry Modernist poets such as E.E. Cummings, Wallace Stevens, and T.S. Eliot changed the face of American poetry by destroying the notion that American culture is far inferior to European culture. These and other American poets accomplished the feat of defining an American poetic style in the Modern Era by means of a truly American idea. That idea

Wallace Stevens and Emile Durkheim Essay

1473 words - 6 pages Wallace Stevens and Emile Durkheim To more fully understand Stevens' poem "The Idea of Order at Key West," one can look at the ideas of the poem in context of social-philosophical thought. Emile Durkheim's theories on religion closely parallel those of Stevens. Both men believe that there is no supreme greater being, or God, that gives things order and meaning. But both men also believe that humans need to read order and meaning into the

Explication of Wallace Stevens' Snowman

1655 words - 7 pages Wallace Stevens explores the perception of a January winter scene in his poem “The Snow Man.” The poem occurs over the space of five unrhymed stanzas, three lines each, and is contained to a single, deceptively simple sentence. Within this sentence, semicolons split up the viewer’s actions as the speaker expands on the necessities of the scenery. Rather than that which is perceived, it is the act of perception on which the poem focuses, and

"The Plain Sense of Things" by Wallace Stevens.

551 words - 2 pages The Plain Sense of Thingsby Wallace StevensIn Stevens' poem "The Plain Sense of Things" the first thing the reader notices is that there are five equal stanzas. The poem is neatly constructed so that each stanza contains four lines. This creates an organized, orderly look to the poem, and gives off the idea of being in control because of the form. After further examination of the poem, the reader discovers the gloomy nature of the poem. Another

The Plain Sense of Things by Wallace Stevens

1003 words - 4 pages “The Plain Sense of Things” by Wallace Stevens delicately explores a certain dualism that he finds in creativity by exploring the conflict between creativity and the lack thereof. He speaks of the point where creativity ends, where it dries up and becomes “inanimate,” but then goes on to point out how necessary that point of null inspiration is in the larger cycle of things. He uses the period between fall and winter, when the leaves have

A Modern Artist's Craft Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens

1270 words - 5 pages and imagination, can be seen in Wallace Stevens' "Anecdote of the Jar." In this poem, Stevens is trying to reconcile the world of the imagination and the reality of the world we live in. Both Frost's "The Oven Bird," and Stevens' "Anecdote of the Jar" use an object, to illustrate two main points; first, that an artist in the process of creating art can connect on an individual level with an observer without spelling out their message, and second

An Annotation of Wallace Stevens' Of Modern Poetry

2322 words - 9 pages An Annotation of Wallace Stevens' Of Modern Poetry In "Of Modern Poetry," Stevens describes the purpose of modern poetry given what the audience knows and values. Modern poetry must be different from traditional poetry, because people of his time perceive themselves and their world differently than the people of earlier times. Stevens suggests that war, like other changes, have affected what people believe. Poetry must reflect to its

"Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" by Wallace Stevens.

1770 words - 7 pages Thirteen Ways of Understanding Reality"Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" is about many things and nothing in particular. There is no common thread in it (aside from the blackbirds, which only serve as a common symbol for different things); the poem is chaotic, like nature itself. The main focuses in the poem are imagination, nature, and mainly reality, which are facets of existence that no doubt weighed heavily on Wallace Stevens' mind

Analysis and interpretation of the artwork of Durer and Grunewald.

1159 words - 5 pages path of traditional northern religious themes. Both men show remarkable examples using color, light, and true naturalism to their art. Among Durer's portfolio include such works as "The Fall of Man", which depicts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden committing the first sin, the "Prodigal Son", showing natural emotion and simplicity, the "Adoration of the Magi" which bears comparison with the masterpieces of Italy and the Netherlands

William Wallace: The Man & The Myth

1407 words - 6 pages English occupation in 1296, and was victorious at the battle of Stirling Bridge and lost at Falkirk. After he was captured, he was tried and executed as shown in the film. Several other aspects of his life were not accurately depicted however. Wallace was portrayed as a poor man who was secretly married right before he got in trouble with the English. Actually, he was a commoner who was well educated, and if he wasn't involved with the war he may

Analysis of William Wallace using the “Psychoanalytic Approach”

714 words - 3 pages William Wallace Hero or Herod?An Analysis of William Wallace using the "Psychoanalytic Approach""William Wallace, a murderer, a runaway, a patriot, or a thief?" William Wallace led one of the first Scottish revolts against the English in the early 14th Century. His army defeated a much larger and much more powerful English army at Stirling Bridge, they captured Stirling Castle, and then ravaged northern England, for which Wallace was knighted

Similar Essays

Analysis Of The Snow Man By Wallace Stevens.

1474 words - 6 pages Afterlife: the complete emptinessWallace Stevens (1879-1955) wrote most of his poems during the world wars period, which took the lives of millions of people. As a result, Wallace Stevens started to question the importance of religion in the modern era, and felt that you should enjoy your life in the present and not waste time living for an afterlife. In his poem "The Snow Man", Stevens describes a harsh winter environment creating a unique

Reality In Wallace Stevens’ The Man With The Blue Guitar

2633 words - 11 pages is based on experience, historical context, and poetic skill, among others. “The Man with the Blue Guitar” is a long poem that allows Stevens to change perspectives and create abstract realities. Parataxis in such a long poem allows for the decreation of reality and the relation of imagination. In his book, The long poems of Wallace Stevens: An interpretive study, Rajeev S. Patke describes varied progression within “The Man with the Blue

Analysis Of Wallace Stevens' "On Modern Poetry"

1102 words - 4 pages There is something to be said for a man who can look deeply into his profession and define exactly what is that he does. The deaths of many men have passed without a definition of their lives, or a true understanding of what they do. In his poem "On Modern Poetry," Wallace Stevens attempts to define his life's work and his passion. To a poet "On Modern Poetry" serves as both a guidebook and a wonderful example of what makes poetics an amazing

A Force Of Nature: Imagination In The Poetry Of Wallace Stevens And John Ashbery

2026 words - 9 pages ’ notion of the role of imagination in poetry. Finally, I shall compare Stevens’ notion with Ashbery’s idea of imagination, displayed in “The instruction manual” so as to observe resemblances and differences between each poetics of the imagination. 1. Wallace Stevens Let me evoke an image of identification: “One must have a mind of winter / To regard the frost and the boughs / Of the pine-trees crusted with snow” (Poemhunter Stevens). In the