It’s starting to feel like the end times around here. The heart of our downtown area is closed off because the weight of the snow caused a building to collapse. I went to a grocery store yesterday, and it was closed — because of structural damage, I assume. So I went to another grocery store, and couldn’t get into the parking lot. And today…another blizzard. The path I have shoveled so many times is disappearing yet again.
Here are the icicles on my house. I’d go knock ’em down, but the snow is too deep for me to get to them.
. . . which reminds me of Robert Frost’s poem (first published in 1920) about the end times. (Today, I’m betting on ice.)
This latest snowstorm has changed my poetical mood from A.A. Milne to Ezra Pound:
Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham
Damm you; Sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, ’tis why I am, Goddamm,
So ’gainst the winter’s balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.
The problem now is that there’s nowhere left to put the stuff you need to shovel.
On the other hand, here are some fan reactions to Malcolm Butler’s interception in the Super Bowl. Trigger warning: lots of profanity. Also, may not be suitable for Seahawks fans.
We saw the game in the company of these lovely young women, whose parents were at the game. Our reaction to the interception was comparable to some of those in the video, and I’m not sure the girls made the most noise.
Emerson wrote this poem in 1841, about 30 miles from where I’m sitting by my radiant fireplace, in a tumultuous privacy of 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 farmhouse at the garden’s end.
The steed 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 structure, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.
So it’s a good time to read the last paragraph of James Joyce’s “The Dead” (as if there were a bad time):
A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, on the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.