Some Say That Snow

In winter, I have beheld how silently in the moonlight the whole earth offers Thee prayer, clad in its white mantle of snow, sparkling like diamonds.

From the Akathist Hymn of Thanksgiving.

Posted by RiverC at December 9, 2009 12:04 PM

Your poem is like a gourmet meal in my mouth. I just keep on saying the lines because they feel and sound so beautiful in my mouth. I haven't encountered a poem that speaks so well in years.

Posted by Gloria at December 9, 2009 12:45 PM

Thank you very much for those kind words.

And thanks as well for the Akathist link.

Posted by vanderleun at December 9, 2009 12:52 PM

"Snow is all right while it is snowing; it is like inebriation because it is very pleasing when it is coming, but very unpleasing when it is going."

Ogden Nash

Posted by McKiernan at December 9, 2009 1:05 PM

Mr. V, You have outdone yourself. You have certainly outdone he who would be our global shepherd and bard unto death and destruction, killing him softly with snowflakes.

Lovely on many levels.

Posted by Webutante at December 9, 2009 1:21 PM

Deep Freeze

A memory of long ago of flat Fens and deep snow;
The weeping willow bent low
And Robin Redbreast, desperate,
Accepting remnants from my Jubilee plate.

So still, so clear, so crisp, so clean;
A pure idyllic winter scene.
With almost sixty years between
That day and now, that memory returns intact;
Untouched, as this days's frozen tract.

And on this crystal winter day
Along the Sussex South Downs Way;
The Fens and childhood far away,
All that is and was, between that time and now:
Encapsulated and unchanged beneath the pristine snow.
FP
(1990).

Posted by Frank P at December 9, 2009 1:53 PM

Thank you Frank,very evocative.

Posted by vanderleun at December 9, 2009 3:13 PM

Miles better than Al Gore.... Miles.... But I damn with feint praise.

It's very good. It captures some of my thoughts and feelings of snow.

Posted by Gray at December 9, 2009 3:18 PM

That is an extraordinary poem. The second stanza is sheer brilliance. I have to memorize it. I just do.

Posted by Cobb at December 9, 2009 3:24 PM

I was inspired to write my very own (cross posted from Neoneocon):

Tree marrow, tree marrow and tree marrow
Creeps in this warming place from farce to arse to the last hockey stick of Recorded temp.

And all our carbon footprints have lighted capitalists the way to cap ‘n’ trade.

Out! Out! Fossil fuels!
Life is but a warming hazard, a poor redneck who buys and wastes his carbon credits at Walmart.

‘Tis a tale told by the Algore.
Full of fraud and worry
Benefitting no one.


Posted by Gray at December 9, 2009 7:02 PM

Snow on snow on snow? Read this earlier today - stopped me dead in my tracks on a fully engaged day, and took me to still places in my heart and mind. A lovely respite, thank you. Damn, you're good.

Posted by Jan B at December 9, 2009 7:03 PM

Well, I'll be. I resisted the urge to scroll down and see who wrote this lovely poem and was rewarded by seeing it was all you. Did the photo inspire the poem? If not, it was an inspired choice of illustration.

Posted by Gypsy at December 9, 2009 10:47 PM

No I took the photo last year in Portland Maine. It was something I found today looking about for an illustration. I manipulated it a bit to be more in line with the tone of the poem.

Posted by vanderleun at December 9, 2009 11:19 PM


Something about a poem when the last line manages that final tweak to the heart . . .

My. My.

Posted by Cathy at December 10, 2009 9:06 AM

Um - what is the figure supposed to be? Man After She Finally Says 'No, I Don't Like You In That Way'?

Posted by Mikey NTH at December 10, 2009 3:56 PM

Beautiful, Gerard.

Have you ever considered recording some of your poems? I'd be curious to compare what I hear and what you intended. On this one, I'm trying to figure how long to pause, if at all, after the period on the first line of each stanza.

Posted by Cris at December 14, 2010 8:53 PM

@Cris

Speaking strictly as a reader, I get the most satisfaction giving it a strictly Shakespearian pause; a tiny one that doesn't mess with the meter. This is a poem to be set to music. A big, dramatic pause kind of does for the poem what bad singers invariably do to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

Sorry - just read what I wrote, and I sound like I've got a Pontificate Rod shoved right up my nether region. Apologies.

@Gerard

Bravo. Love this one.

Posted by Cameron at December 14, 2010 11:24 PM

Haunting, thought provoking and written beautifully. Thank you! You are a man of many talents.

Posted by Cilla Mitchell, Galveston Texas at December 15, 2010 4:49 AM

I love this poem the most.

Posted by Jewel at January 16, 2012 7:13 PM

I say It's beginnin' to look a lot like Fimbulwinter.

Posted by Drang at January 17, 2012 1:10 AM

Mr. V, that verse is rare, exceptional. It certainly paused my little world. My first thought was which poet of rank wrote this? Turns out it was you. All the better.

This being my first visit I tremble to think what you make of my man Ron Paul. Here goes...

Posted by G. Willikins at January 18, 2012 6:17 PM

I gasped with pleasure upon reading this, and then had to read it aloud so that my ears could also be blessed.

Lovely.

Still waiting on Sippican to weigh in...

Posted by Joan of Argghh! at January 3, 2014 3:48 AM

One for the ages. To say more is to further expose writer's envy. RKB

Posted by Ralph Kinney Bennett at January 3, 2014 4:28 AM

You posters are some silly sounding goofs. Snow is a freakin' cold, wet mess that contributes little or nothing in the way of moisture unless it's 2-3' deep. It and its lovely companion 'ice' combine to provide dangerous conditions for humans and for wild life.

I can't even concede that the stuff is pretty unless it's on a post card that someone sends me while I'm hanging out on a warm beach and even then I have to stretch to consider it lovely, calming, soothing or to possess any of the other contrived characteristics that some of you attribute to it.

And, what kind of pussy does it take to spend part of his or her life trying to write a poem about the stuff?

Sorry about the rant, but I think you snow sissies deserve it.

Posted by Jack at January 3, 2014 7:09 AM

May you enjoy the close embrace of the next northeast widowmaker.

Posted by vanderleun at January 3, 2014 7:20 AM

Not to worry Vanderleun, I won't enjoy it. Heck, I won't even be around for it.

I'm one of those guys who, when he sees it coming, packs up the babies, grabs the old lady and the dogs and goes South for a few days.

As one who has lived through storms at sea, hurricanes, a few floods and several snow and ice storms, I'm here to tell you that there is no beauty in any rough Mother Nature freak show and I vamoose accordingly.

Posted by Jack at January 3, 2014 10:46 AM

Ent. When Winter comes, the winter wild that hill and wood shall slay;
When trees shall fall and starless night devour the sunless day;
When wind is in the deadly East, then in bitter rain
I'll look for thee, and call to thee; I'll come to thee again!

EntWife. When Winter comes, and singing ends; when darkness falls at last;
When broken in barren bough, and light and labour past;
I'll look for the, and wait for thee, untill we meet again:

Both. Together we will take the road beneath the bitter rain!
Together we will take the road that leads into the West,
And far away will find a land where both our hearts may rest

~Treebeards Song, the Two Towers, LOTR

(...and thank you, Gerard)

Posted by Cond0011 at January 3, 2014 12:10 PM

I liked it. That's a poem.

I hardly think we are sissies because we can appreciate art and beauty.

As my mother used to say, you can dress for the cold, and, I suppose, ignorance can be enlightened. I've even seen contrariness cured by repeated applications of hickory.

Posted by mushroom at January 3, 2014 12:12 PM

The point of the hickory applied is not to cure but to please the one who applies it.

Posted by vanderleun at January 3, 2014 12:36 PM

At least they got my attention.

Posted by mushroom at January 3, 2014 1:46 PM

That, Gerard, was a rare treat - thank you for sharing. You are indeed an uncommon wordsmith.

Posted by Golden west at January 3, 2014 5:17 PM

That, Gerard, was a rare treat - thank you for sharing. You are indeed an uncommon wordsmith.

Posted by Golden west at January 3, 2014 5:18 PM

Lovely!!

Posted by Sarah Rolph at January 3, 2014 6:02 PM

GVDL, while marinating in your ode to snow, I was reminded, strangely, of Placido Domingo's version of 'Perhaps Love.'
Perhaps snowflakes are unique replies to all our tears sent heaven-ward for mercy, sorrow, our hopes, and gratitude.
The Peruser of our tearful requests and comments airmails responses as snowflakes -- softly, silently, lovely, lovingly, for our goodness sakes.

Thank you again for your words of wonder.

Posted by Howard Nelson at January 28, 2015 11:27 PM

A very good poem, maybe a great poem. You're channeling Frost here, and doing it very well.

I wish you would find a publisher for your poems. Vox Day runs an online, ebook house. Maybe you don't want the association.

If you don't want to publish, could you collect them in an archive that your fans could access online?

Posted by bob sykes at January 29, 2015 4:54 AM

Well, I've lived in the deepest south where the sun can boil you at 120 degrees forever, and I've lived in the frigid great white north where the wind/snow/ice trifecta will freeze your blood in a minute.

When it's cold you can move around and eat and drink and throw another free log on the fire to stay warm, but when that nasty ol' sol is trying to kill you all you can do is throw lot's of money at it to keep it at bay for a spell.

I was born in the waning January and prefer the cold.

Posted by ghostsniper at January 6, 2017 2:35 PM

I am left speechless, except to say that is beautiful.

Posted by Grizzly at January 6, 2017 8:16 PM

Oh, my...

I'm not usually one for poetry, but oh, my...

Posted by j. rogers at January 6, 2017 10:01 PM

Snow for kids is another world.
City Kid: Ma! There's more than six inches of snow on the ground and it's still snowing like crazy. Is the school closed today? (That's how I learned to pray.)
City Ma: Yes. And that's why your teachers gave you the extra homework yesterday.
And that's when City Kid realized his prayer, a snow job, hadn't fooled the Knower at all.


Posted by Howard Nelson at January 6, 2017 10:50 PM

That's the best poetry I've seen in years.
Hey Jack, the anger and bitterness of your comments show a disconnect from the world that is quite sad, actually.
I'm sitting here looking out my front window at the snow covered Smokey Mountains. Where you would see an obstacle and an inconvenience, I see God's majesty and genius.
Cond0011, thanks for that as well; it's been 40 years since I read LOTR, and I don't recall it being in the movie. Good stuff.

Posted by Greywrath at January 7, 2017 1:24 PM

I love it.

Posted by DeAnn at January 7, 2017 3:26 PM

And the picture is interesting in its own right.

The movie "The Quiet American" was released in February 1958, so I'm guessing that picture was taken about 6 AM on a cold, snowy morning in late Feburary or early March.

An intriguing look into a vanished world....

Hale Adams
Pikesville, People's still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

Posted by Hale Adams at January 7, 2017 7:55 PM

What fabulous verse you write, Gerard.

The piece is especially good to my ear. The consistent rhythm is there without being sing-songy.

The thoughts are profound, as always with you. And the timing couldn't be more right at this loneliest, deepest part of winter darkness and cold.

You have brought light and comfort to the winter soul. Thank you.

Posted by Mark Nicolas at January 7, 2017 9:17 PM

So beautiful. Thank you.

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