by Wallace Stevens
There are two basic viewpoints in the poem, Christian and pagan, and the symbolism of "blood" has different meanings for each. From the Christian perspective, the "blood" can be a very serious reminder of the sacrifice that Jesus makes at his crucifixion. From the pagan perspective, blood represents human energy, creativity, and joy.
- Line 15: The blood referred to here is the blood that Christ spills at his crucifixion. It’s a symbol for the sacrifice he makes by dying for the sins of mankind.
- Lines 36-40: From the pagan or nature-worshipping perspective, blood can also be a symbol of human life, energy, and imagination. The myth of Jove was created when our blood was "mingled" or mixed with "heaven." The poet wonders if the combination of human "blood" and heaven will lead to "paradise."
- Line 97: Once again, "blood" refers to pagan life or vitality, which the men send out to the sky as they sing and dance. They contain "paradise" in their blood, which is a metaphor for the joy that they feel in the morning.