A Movie Log

A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Poem of the Day: Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Snowstorm 

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 farmhouse at the garden's end. 
The sled and traveler 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. 
--Ralph Waldo Emerson 

I have to admit that I like Emerson's poetry a lot more than his prose.