Monday, November 17, 2014

Inch Thirty-Eight: Dust of Snow

We had our first major snow of the season last night, a storm that dumped four or so inches on us. Early this afternoon, the snow tapered off, the skies cleared, and the sun beamed. I had a meeting downtown at 2:00, so I bundled up and starting walking, figuring it to be a nice day.

What I had not counted on was the wind picking up, shaking snow from the trees onto cars, sidewalks, and me. There was no way to dodge the blown snow, which ranged from a sprinkle to large clumps. I kept brushing it off, trying not to slow my stride, hoping nothing larger than a small handful fell my way.

The last gust was particularly zestful, and I found myself enveloped in a brief whirl of snow, just enough to dust me thoroughly. I found myself thinking of Robert Frost and his poem "Dust of Snow."

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

As it so happened, there was a crow in a nearby pine (maybe a hemlock), cawing at me or the wind or the snow or all three of us.

Robert Frost, who took his own pleasure in cold and dark and snow, is good and out of fashion in many circles these days. In fact, poetry as a subject is pretty much out of fashion in our schools and modern curricula. Small wonder that seven years ago, when teenagers vandalized Frost's house in New Hampshire, they had no idea who Frost was, let alone the significance of his contribution to American literature.

By the time I finished my meeting, the day had gone gray again and the temperature had dropped several degrees. My walk home was brisk; I pushed myself to reach the warmth of the house as soon as possible. The crow had gone silent; perhaps it had taken shelter deeper in the tree, huddling against the cold.

I thought about my walk once I was back inside. I had no day to rue. Just a dust of snow and a crow cawing vociferously and a long-dead poet who accompanied me downtown and back.

1 comment:

see you there! said...

I enjoyed the bit of poetry. I don't enjoy snow but your description of you walk made me think it might not be all bad. After all it reminded you of a poem.