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Thursday, February 9, 2017

So Much for the Mind of Winter (finally a reply to Wallace Stevens)

Today we've had a severe winter storm - the picture alongside was taken this afternoon of the laurels in our front yard on the point of unconditional surrender. All day we have been pounded with heavy winds and wet snow, so far more than a foot has accumulated.  It's the hardest kind of snow to remove - sodden and clinging to the shovel.  After doing my best to clear the driveway for the second time, I went for a walk out to the dock on Bay Avenue (where I retraced the steps I have taken on several such occasions before)  and had a chance to write the following poem:

So Much for the Mind of Winter (or finally I get straight on my reply to Wallace Stevens' Snowman)

There is nothing
Quite as scouring
Or uplifting as a severe
Winter storm out here
On the East End

The east bank
Of the Creek is
All but invisible now
In the driving snow

As I walk to the end of the dock
On the Bay Avenue pier the wind 
Tears through successive layers 
Getting subcutaneous soon
Enough in its lacerations

And soon too my fingers are 
Burning or else completely numbed
Just from writing a few words down
On my notebook's wet page

This is the kind
Of winter storm that
Great Russian poets
Used to extol about 
When a horse can get lost 
And expire only a few yards
Outside the front gate

It’s no longer a matter
Of fine poetic diction
I’d much rather be
Nice and warm back home
As opposed to any more
Exposed to the north wind 
Leaving off altogether
Any further cultivation of  
This frickin' mind of winter

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