100 Words #411 - The Poetry of Snow

Monday I raced down the long stretch from Northern Vermont to Massachusetts, aiming to beat the coming storm. For some, it would be a blizzard. Signs on the interstate warned me to "be prepared". 

Once home, I happily settled in, ready for the kind of silence, timelessness, and peculiar magic only a snow storm can bring to the world. This poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson captures that unique mood of a New England snow storm. 

The Snow Storm

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,

Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,

Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air

Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,

And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.

The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet

Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit

Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed

In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

 

Come see the north wind's masonry.

Out of an unseen quarry evermore

Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer

Curves his white bastions with projected roof

Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.

Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work

So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he

For number or proportion. Mockingly,

On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;

A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;

Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall,

Maugre the farmer's sighs; and, at the gate,

A tapering turret overtops the work.

And when his hours are numbered, and the world

Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,

Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art

To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,

Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work,

The frolic architecture of the snow.

I did, in fact, gather near to a radiant fireplace and enjoyed a not so tumultuous privacy of storm. The cats slept while the fire churned out its fierce sphere of heat all day. 

Storm Juno 2015
Winter fireplace

Your word for the 100 Word Challenge this week is from Emerson's poem: 

 

 

Radiant