"Disillusionment of Ten O’clock"In the first three quarters of the poem Stevens talks about how everyone is uniformly the same (literally and fashionably speaking). How no one dares to be different, they just get through their day and do the same thing the next. Also how these people are not going to fall to a pleasant sleep and "dream of baboons and periwinkles." Almost like they limit themselves, or maybe they don’t. Maybe it’s the fact that they are just insipid persons!
The poem reads "Only, here and there, an old sailor drunk and asleep in his boots catches tigers in red weather." The Sailor who is "drunk and asleep in his boots," is a renegade, in the sense that he prefers walking to the beat of his own drum. He hasn’t a care to be like everyone else, Individuality is of importance to him. Being a sailor represents one who has traveled the world. It shows the restriction of tradition and conformity in the world of those in the "white night gowns." My thoughts are that Stevens uses the sailor to portray himself.
Red Weather, what is "Red Weather" and why is he catching tigers? If you dissect it, the color red can symbolize passion, love, war, violence, and aggression. The weather aspect of the stanza might be a type of metaphor explaining that instead of its usual meaning, weather represents a front moving in. He dreams about catching tigers. Tigers, generally speaking symbolize strength and power. The living symbol of a tiger on the other hand has a regal quality and is courageous, active and self-assured. They also have an magnetic personality that attracts people to them. Tigers tend to renounce confining traditional roles, opting for a more unfettered life. There is usually a position of authority held by those who have traits as tigers.
The drunken sailor might dream about capturing those people in "white night gowns" and making them break free from thier dull, dull lives because he’s passionate for what he believes in. Maybe he just sees red and wants to take his anger out on them for not staying true to their selves. Or he’s lonely. He drinks and then continues on to fall asleep and dream of finding and marrying someone who can accept him. "Red Weather" could possibly be an older way for saying "love’s in the air."