Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Mind of Winter

Did you notice that this entire blog turned blue with cold last week?

After getting stuck trying to fly home from the east coast on Sunday, this morning I just was not in the mood to let the threat of weather make me stay home from my haircut appointment. I went off to Columbus (an hour away) hoping the snow would hold off until noon. But it didn't. So I had to drive the white-out divided highway of horrors and then the two-lane wheeltracks of doom until finally, with my white knuckles, I made it home. I used the bathroom and then set out again to pick up kids from school. And just to top off all the driving in snow, I've scheduled a meeting tonight at the local college. I truly feel like a northerner now, because I don't feel like calling it off. And hey, my hair looks good for it.

I kept trying to appreciate the beauty of the scene as I drove. Because, after all, I don't often get out when it's snowing that hard. But my attention kept drifting, and I kept thinking of lines from this poem, The Snow Man, by Wallace Stevens:

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

The snow looked like what was falling down behind a window in The Nutcracker we saw in December. I kept trying to tell myself that it looked like the jubilant snow in a Harry Potter movie. But what it ends up looking like after miles and miles is...nothing.


lemming said...

I hereby officially request a poem about animals.

Jeanne said...

Okay. I guess you mean besides my dead deer poems, or this one that I always think of when someone requests an animal poem:
The Panther
The panther is like a leopard,
Except it hasn't been peppered.
Should you behold a panther crouch,
Prepare to say Ouch.
Better yet, if called by a panther,
Don't anther.

Hugh said...

Can I say I have a huge man-crush on Wallace Stevens' poetry?

OK, I will. I have a huge man-crush on Wallace Stevens' poetry.

Jeanne said...

Say it, Hugh! I learned to love Wallace Stevens as an undergraduate, in classes taught by Dr. Bland Crowder at Hendrix. Then as a grad student, I did an annotated bibliography of all the reviews of his books.