Wallace Stevens

(October 2, 1879 – August 2, 1955 / Pennsylvania / United States)

Frogs Eat Butterflies, Snakes Eat Frogs, Hogs Eat Snakes, Men Eat Hogs


It is true that the rivers went nosing like swine,
Tugging at banks, until they seemed
Bland belly-sounds in somnolent troughs,

That the air was heavy with the breath of these swine,
The breath of turgid summer, and
Heavy with thunder's rattapallax,

That the man who erected this cabin, planted
This field, and tended it awhile,
Knew not the quirks of imagery,

That the hours of his indolent, arid days,
Grotesque with this nosing in banks,
This somnolence and rattapallax,

Seemed to suckle themselves on his arid being,
As the swine-like rivers suckled themselves
While they went seaward to the sea-mouths.

Submitted: Monday, April 05, 2010

Form:


Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Frogs Eat Butterflies, Snakes Eat Frogs, Hogs Eat Snakes, Men Eat Hogs by Wallace Stevens )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Barry Middleton (1/15/2014 4:25:00 PM)

    No one seems to want to tackle this one. I really like this poem. The title is pretty much the food chain and the poem is about how untutored man and life itself is consumed and essentially without meaning. The tone is beyond dark. Rivers, usually a rather romantic or baptismal image, here are like nosing, grunting swine tugging at banks and sounding like churning stomachs. I can almost smell the rank, farm air like a swines breath that nevertheless is 'turgid, full of the essence of life, summer's heat and thunder. But the man who lived here saw nothing. He might have had another image than that of Stevens but he actually saw nothing - not even how the very farm sucked the life from him. His life was lazy, arid, and somnolent in that he never noticed its grotesqueness. The swine like river flows on to the sea where it too is consumed by the sea mouth. This is not a cheerful poem. Stevens likes to attach whimsical titles to very somber ideas (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  6. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Mother to Son, Langston Hughes
  10. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou

Poem of the Day

poet Oliver Wendell Holmes

WHAT flower is this that greets the morn,
Its hues from Heaven so freshly born?
With burning star and flaming band
It kindles all the sunset land:
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. I Love You Kira 6, Michael P. McParland
  2. sonnet 6: God of snow, Juwon Daniel
  3. Late Payment, Angela Wybrow
  4. Love versus Fear, Darian Kalamerd
  5. unforgettable summer nights, Juwon Daniel
  6. Wake up! ! !, ramesh rai
  7. Cinquante, Marilyn Jean
  8. Tears Of The Moon, val legend
  9. Tempered, Debra Cranford
  10. He Was My Flesh, Naveed Akram
[Hata Bildir]