Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowmageddon (Aka Watching Your Fellow English Majors Go Insane)


Walking outside today feels like a scene from Cormac McCarthy's The Road. The streets are disturbingly empty and the few who do dare to venture outside are so bundled up you cannot even see their faces. All winter wonderland fun has been abandoned for general misery. Instead we are locked up in our dorms, apartments, and houses going stir crazy. Who knew that Sartre's No Exit was not just an existentialist play, but reality? Sorry for all of the pretentious literary references (even though this is the English blog), but clearly I am losing my mind as well. It seemed only fitting though to post an excerpt from John Greenleaf Whittier's poem, "Snowbound." My wonderful Irish literature professor, Christopher Griffin, sent this to me today and I couldn't resist putting up. Enjoy! Stay safe, warm, and sane!


Unwarmed by any sunset light

The gray day darkened into night,

A night made hoary with the swarm

And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,

As zigzag, wavering to and fro,

Crossed and recrossed the wingàd snow:

And ere the early bedtime came

The white drift piled the window-frame,

And through the glass the clothes-line posts

Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

So all night long the storm roared on:

The morning broke without a sun;

In tiny spherule traced with lines

Of Nature's geometric signs,

And, when the second morning shone,

We looked upon a world unknown

On nothing we could call our own.

3 comments:

Gayle Wald said...

Thank you, Tess. Thank you Christopher Griffin. I think all of Washington is online.

simile1000 said...

This may be a reach, but I'm reminded of the passage in Moby Dick about "The Whiteness of the Whale," and of how terrifying whiteness is. Maybe tomorrow we need a Melville passage to help us deal with our increasing fear and insanity due to the 512 inches of snow out there?

Irishpete said...

Tess - Chris Griffen sent me your blog. Loved it. I had sent him the excerpt from Snowbound. It was my Dad's favorite poem - he also grew up on a farm up North and related to it vividly. It's a masterpiece - here's a link to the complete poem:
http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/whitt02.html. Best read with a hot toddy or cider around a roaring fire!!

Peter Kissel