Sunday, February 9, 2014

Poem for a Monday: Snow

Winter has finally turned perfect in Maine: mid-twenties each day, snow that lasts and brightens and invites you out to walk in it, toss it, slide across it.  We're getting a little fresh snow today; buckets of it Thursday.

I walk through the snowy fields behind Bowdoin College most days with my dog, so naturally I had to choose a snow poem by Longfellow.  This lovely poem reminds me not of the many playful days I've spent in winter, but of the more somber, albeit beautiful, mood which accompanies a still, snowy day.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Out of the bosom of the Air,
     Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
     Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
     Silent, and soft, and slow
     Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
     Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
     In the white countenance confession,
          The troubled sky reveals
          The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
     Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
     Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
          Now whispered and revealed
          To wood and field.

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