Poem by Dick Jones
I like winter weather. A frigid snowy day is a good day, that I enjoy the way other people enjoy a balmy, sunny day. Biting cold perks me up. I particularly like walking as snow is falling, in the midst of just such a snowscape as Dick describes in the poem. Hell, I even like shoveling snow.
Alas for me in this era of warming climates snowy days have become rare occasions at the zone of latitude in which I live. The local weatherman promised a little snow this morning but all we got was freezing rain. I feel lucky when I get a day the temperature dips toward freezing. A 70+F day in December or January (Louisville has had several) is downright disquieting…to me. I’ve asked people on such summery winter days if such unseasonable weather bothers them, and clearly the only thing that was bothering them was me asking a question that interrupted their heedless enjoyment of the summer-like warmth. Me, I don’t put on socks or long pants until the temp drops to 40F. Some Louisvillians I’ve seen dress like Eskimos when it gets that “cold.”
I like cold weather and like cold weather in poetry. Lyrics that leave a chill. A poem that speaks with the breath of winter speaks true–to me. When I read Dick’s latest poem at Patteran Pages, I caught that delicious chill that the weather of the world mostly denies me. I’ve been following Dick Jones since our days as Salonistas–about ten years–and in his work these days in my opinion he’s getting the better of better. I thank him for letting me repost, because I wanted to pair his snow poem with a snow poem written by Wallace Stevens–the finest winter poem in English that I know:
The Snow ManxOne must have a mind of winterTo regard the frost and the boughsOf the pine-trees crusted with snow;xAnd have been cold a long timeTo behold the junipers shagged with ice,The spruces rough in the distant glitterxOf the January sun; and not to thinkOf any misery in the sound of the wind,In the sound of a few leaves,xWhich is the sound of the landFull of the same windThat is blowing in the same bare placexFor the listener, who listens in the snow,And, nothing himself, beholdsNothing that is not there and the nothing that is.