Monday, December 17, 2007

On Snow and Good Writing

by Julia Buckley
Well, everyone from the Midwest to the Northeast has felt the brunt of this latest snowstorm, and naturally, we all want to talk about the weather! But I've been enjoying literature, too, and pulling out some of my favorite poets' words about snow and winter. I set a mystery in winter once, and there is a special poetry about that season. For example:

NIGHT

Stars over snow,
and in the west a planet
Swinging below a star--
Look for a lovely thing and you will find it,
It is not far--
It never will be far.

That is one of my ALL TIME favorites by Sara Teasdale. Now compare it to Lilian Moore's "Winter Dark."

Winter dark comes early
mixing afternoon
and night.
Soon
there's a comma of a moon,

and each street light
along the
way
puts its period
to the end of the day.

Now
a neon sign
punctuates the
dark with a bright blinking
breathless
exclamation mark!

And finally, a Japanese poem, unattributed, but printed in Winter Poems by Barbara Rogasky:

MOON

The moon hangs up at night;
Her beams are cold and bright;
Seeing her shadow low
The water's frozen now.


Enjoy the beautiful words and the beautiful frozen weather! It's a great time for all of us to stay in and do a bit of writing. :)

9 comments:

Sandra Parshall said...

Julia, you've reminded me why I prefer living in the south. :-) We do get snow and ice here in the DC area, but not usually a foot and a half at a time, and we almost never have the deep-freeze cold that keeps the stuff on the ground all winter. I feel bad for the pandas at the National Zoo, who would love to have snow all winter, but in general I have a NIMBY attitude toward frozen precip. I do admire those of you in the north who carry on with normal life in spite of winter weather. Around here, two inches of snow can bring everything to a dead stop.

Julia Buckley said...

It warms the heart. I'm sure I'll be complaining in February, but it wouldn't be the holiday season for me without the cold and snow. I guess it's all about your childhood influences . . .

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

New York hardly gets snow that you can call snow any more. You have to get up very early on a morning when the snow started around 3 am when few cars were moving to see it in the street, and traffic soon wipes it away. Still, there's a beautiful dusting on trees and slopes and rocks in Central Park. I get to enjoy it as I run my three miles along with the clopping carriage horses and, these days, pedicab drivers peddling tourists around the park.

Julia Buckley said...

Three miles? I'm impressed, Liz. I couldn't even run that far in college. I must have weak lungs or something.

Now I don't think I could run two blocks.

But I would think New York would get tons of snow!

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