Friday, February 5, 2010

Poetry Friday: Relearning Winter

With another gigantic snowstorm barreling towards D.C., and forecasters tossing around predictions like "3 to 4 inches an hour," I'd like to say something to Winter.  I'm not sure that something would be "hello," but Mark Svenvold's poem is a bit more open-minded than I am at this point.

(True story: yesterday, when I called a feed supply store on the rumor that they had snow shovels in stock, the clerk said: "No, but we have pitchforks." Bwhahaha! Then again, maybe she was serious. Can one hold off a blizzard by threatening it with something stabby?)

Relearning Winter
by Mark Svenvold

Hello Winter, hello flanneled
blanket of clouds, clouds
fueled by more clouds, hello again.

Hello afternoons,
off to the west, that sliver
of sunset, rust-colored
and gone too soon.

And night (I admit to a short memory)
you climb back in with chilly fingers
and clocks, and there is no refusal:
ice cracks the water main, the garden hose
stiffens, the bladed leaves of the rhododendron
shine in the fog of a huge moon.

the rest is here

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Great Kid Books


  1. Whoa - it's pouring here now, but the snow will be back - I think we get the East Coast's weather a day or two later, unless it dies over the Atlantic, and hahahaha to that hope.

    Hang in there! Enjoy the moments when you're home and don't have to go anywhere, so you can croon your hellos to flannel and candles and ...apparently stabby things. Very helpful clerk, that one.

  2. That's a great poem -- but I'm with you, don't know that I'm in the mood to say, "hello" again. Love the flanneled blanket of clouds, the upside-down cake of clouds.

    And what's up with that pitchfork lady? :D

  3. Love the poem. I hope you all are nestled in your houses. This too shall pass. It reminds me of our Dec. 2008.

  4. Ready to say "hello" over here -- but ask me again if the lights go out... I love the "bladed leaves" line.

  5. Oh I heard about D.C and the snow coming your way. Well, I hope your coffee is ready and have a pile of great books to keep you company. Enjoyed reading your poem. It is perfect for us as well here in Ohio.

  6. Great selection for today. It's snowing in the Midwest right now...
    Stay cozy!

  7. Thanks for sharing that poem, Sara - I can just see those rhododendron leaves shining "in the fog of a huge moon." What a beautiful line.

    Stay bundled up and warm! Our neighbors to the north in Vancouver, B.C. would sure like to have some of D.C.'s recent snow for the soon-to-start Olympics. We just officially broke the record for the warmest January in recorded history here in the Pacific Northwest, and the Olympic organizers are trying to figure out what the skiers will ski on! No snow!!

  8. What a beautiful poem.

    You can tell the pitchfork lady, that I'm afraid snow won't get the point (pun intended).

    Stay warm!

  9. The speed with which this snow came reminds me of that two panel spread in the first BONE book where about a foot comes down out of the sky in a blanket with a "whump" sound.

    I do love the silence after the "whump."

  10. Sara--

    Great winter poem!

    Good luck with your snow removal.

    I remember the blizzard that hit New England in 1978! That storm came as a surprise. When I left school on the first day of the storm, it had already begun to snow hard and heavy. I was lucky to get home safely. My husband was an electrical lineman in another community at the time. I didn't see him for three days!

  11. He captures that solitude well...I can see how it'd get old, though, after Too Much. Hang in there. I heard a news report yesterday about your area, and one guy was saying there was very little on the shelves in his grocery store, as trucks couldn't get there. Whoa.


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