by Julia Buckley
These photos were sent to me in an e-mail; they were taken in a town called Versoix, Switzerland, and the title of the missive was "You think you're cold?"
The images got me thinking of setting and its power to evoke mood, both in life and literature. This is not just ice, it's a city turned to ice, frozen motion, and there's something both terrifying and beautiful about it, almost as though we have to be reminded of Nature's power in different ways, sometimes, in order for us to see that it is universal.
And naturally, because everything reminds me of poetry, either that someone has written or that I would like to write, I thought of Robert Frost's famous poem, "Fire and Ice."
Fire and Ice
by Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire,
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is just as great,
And would suffice.
I also wonder about the people of Versoix. Is this a regular occurrence for them, something they take in stride each winter? Or were even they surprised by the intensity of this ice, the seeming permanence of it, as though Poseidon had cast a frozen curse upon the land?
In any case, the e-mail served its purpose; sure, it's snowing again here in Chicagoland, and it registered -6 on the bank clock this morning; but I can't imagine if it were this way all winter. I'll crunch along through my Christmas shopping tomorrow, and when I do I'll think of the ice in Versoix.