Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Snowman 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

"And, nothing himself, beholds

Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is."

These last two lines of Steven's poem reflect the essence of wisdom expressed in the classic Buddhist statement: "Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form" from The Heart of the Prajna Paramita Sutra. Click here for one translation of the Heart Sutra with commentaries. Thanks to George Day, Santa Cruz, CA, for sending me this poem.

1 comment:

celestialelf said...

Very glad to hear that Snowmen are being used as analogy for Buddhist experience, perhaps you will enjoy The London Snowman Lecture 12 on Tibet ..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugdqlsUwsHQ&feature=channel_page
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