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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Snow in the Suburbs

(Pine Tree and Red House by Lawren Harris, 1885-1970,
Canadian artist)

Take a walk in your neighborhood and you’ll come upon a pantomime.


Every branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every street and pavement mute:
Some flakes have lost their way, and grope back upward, when
Meeting those meandering down they turn and descend again.
The palings are glued together like a wall,
And there is no waft of wind with the fleecy fall.

A sparrow enters the tree,
Whereon immediately
A snow-lump thrice his own slight size
Descends on him and showers his head and eyes,
And overturns him,
And near inurns* him,
And lights on a nether twig, when its brush
Starts off a volley of other lodging lumps with a rush.

The steps are a blanched slope,
Up which, with feeble hope,
A black cat comes, wide-eyed and thin;
And we take him in.

~ Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), English novelist and poet

* inurn – to put in an urn, to entomb or bury

1 comment:

the old gentleman said...

And the snow in L.A.?
Well, on the rare day,
this time of year,
when it's at last clear,

there's snow on the hills,
though none of it chills
yon surfers of our sea.
Bah! Methinks them less free.