Monday, December 2, 2013

Snow and snow and snow. No more running in the woods, it seems. I will have to switch to snowshoeing today.

I went looking for a snow poem, and I found this 1922 piece by Claude McKay, along with many others, including poems by Longfellow, Emerson, and Bryant. At a quick glance, I noted an interesting shared feature of snow poems: many of them seem to be too long, by which I mean that one of the stanzas feels much stronger than the rest of the poem. The McKay poem is relatively even, I think, though I'm not sure that I love it. Still, it has its charms.

The Snow Fairy

Claude McKay

Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,
Whirling fantastic in the misty air,
Contending fierce for space supremacy.
And they flew down a mightier force at night,
As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,
And they, frail things had taken panic flight
Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.
I went to bed and rose at early dawn
To see them huddled together in a heap,
Each merged into the other upon the lawn,
Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.
The sun shone brightly on them half the day,
By night they stealthily had stol’n away.

And suddenly my thoughts then turned to you
Who came to me upon a winter’s night,
When snow-sprites round my attic window flew,
Your hair disheveled, eyes aglow with light.
My heart was like the weather when you came,
The wanton winds were blowing loud and long;
But you, with joy and passion all aflame,
You danced and sang a lilting summer song.
I made room for you in my little bed,
Took covers from the closet fresh and warm,
A downful pillow for your scented head,
And lay down with you resting in my arm.
You went with Dawn. You left me ere the day,
The lonely actor of a dreamy play.

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