Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Poem: The Snowstorm, by Ralph Waldo Emerson


The Snowstorm

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight; the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse at the garden's end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

Come, see the north wind's masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake or tree or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, naught cares he
for number or proportion. Mockingly

On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall,
Maugre the farmer's sighs; and at the gate
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not.
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

I had a couple of spring poems that I was considering for today's post, but then the snow arrived and neither seemed quite appropriate, so I went on a quick search for a winter poem instead.

I cleared the driveway enough last night to get my car out this morning - but more snow fell in the night, so when I got up I found I was back where I started. In the end I decided to walk to work. It usually takes me about half an hour, today it was more like fifty minutes. The first bit was the toughest, once I reached a main road I just walked in the tracks left by cars.

I was quite relieved to be given a lift home in the boss's son-in-law's four wheel drive again, as he finished work a half an hour before me. The drive way is clear again - enough to get the car out - but whether it will remain so tomorrow I don't know.

My boss is very good about paying me when I can't get in due to earthquake or snow, but there have been so many of those paid days already this year that I don't feel right taking more if I can help it. After all, if no work is being done, no money is coming in.

For more Tuesday Poems visit the main hub site.

3 comments:

Janis said...

Perfect poem for this weather! Hope you're keeping warm.

Joan said...

Oh my goodness Catherine you extremely live down there in the south. We have winds that move the trees.. you have earthquakes that shake your earth to pieces..we have snow that softly comes floating then disappears on landing.. you are buried in deep snow drifts! How you dolive to the utmost and not by halves!

Mary McCallum said...

Perfect!!! Thank you