Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The quietness of softly falling snow

I love winter. I like spring, summer and fall as well. Each season has its strong points. But winter are different. It stands proud, beautiful and apart. I'm surprised that such a wonderful time of year attracts so much bad press. Recently, columnist Larry Cornies went on an I-hate-winter rant. The piece was titled: No welcome mat for Old Man Winter.

Cornies has a rather depressing view of winter. It's a slushy-faced, drunken monster casting a dark shadow over all and sundry. He admits he didn't always feel this way but he was not too old when he began turning against one of God's fair seasons.

Cornies ends his rant by reprinting a poem by Thomas Hood, a 19th-­century English poet. I wondered if Cornies associates this poem with winter. If he does, he has attached the wrong poem. The poem is a downer, Larry. Allow me to suggest an more upbeat alternative.

When I was in grade school we memorized a poem with a much different tone. If memory serves me right, the poet was Dame Edith Sitwell who once said: "Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home."

The poem I associate with winter is: "Christmas Snow."

 The night before Christmas
’Twas quiet all around;

’Twas quiet on the hills
And quiet on the ground;

’Twas quiet up above, 
And quiet down below;

And the quiet was the quietness
Of softly falling snow.

Whenever it snows, I recall that poem and smile as I look forward to the unique pleasures of winter.


  1. I have a favourite winter poem that also gives a feeling of reflection and tranquility. Robert Frost's 'Stopping by a Woods on a Snowy Evening'. I learned it in public school more than 50 years ago and it still does it for me.

    1. Thank you for your comment, anonymous. My wife saw your comment and immediately recalled the Robert Frost poem. She started reciting the lines from memory. I'm posting the complete poem.

      Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
      . . . By Robert Frost

      Whose woods these are I think I know.
      His house is in the village though;
      He will not see me stopping here
      To watch his woods fill up with snow.

      My little horse must think it queer
      To stop without a farmhouse near
      Between the woods and frozen lake
      The darkest evening of the year.

      He gives his harness bells a shake
      To ask if there is some mistake.
      The only other sound’s the sweep
      Of easy wind and downy flake.

      The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
      But I have promises to keep,
      And miles to go before I sleep,
      And miles to go before I sleep.

      Cheers anonymous.