Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Poetry Surprise

For those who don't know, we publish a Poetry Surprise in our newsletter each week.

This week’s Poem Pick features Wallace Stevens, insurance man, twentieth century poet. He worked at The Hartford Insurance Company in Hartford, CT. He would walk at lunch, gathering images and ideas for the poems he would write at the end of the day. I worked at The Travelers Insurance Company for a number of years in my early career and took great inspiration from Wallace Stevens, hoping my muse would visit once in while as I toiled over indemnities and coverage.

The Snow Man

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.

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