The Snowman

Written by Payton Lee in The Backpack

A Poem 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.


The peacefulness of the backcountry can be beautiful in winter. If one stops and listens you hear nothing but silence, and it is perfect. The snow blankets everything creating a clean white pillow across the landscape. The season of winter can transform a place into something unrecognizable. The dirt trails cannot be seen. The rushing rivers of summer slow to a roll. The trees slim down to bare bones only to be weighted by the snow. A new place is formed, and the education of travel continues.

Payton Lee

Payton Lee

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Constantly Teaching, Forever Learning.

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