Friday, November 14, 2008

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.

Snow. We haven't had any yet, have you?  I'm not sure I want the reality of snow just yet -- driving in it, shoveling it. But if I think of snow as "the poem of the air," then I'm just about overcome with anticipation.

Make your own snowflake at Make-a-Flake.
Check out all things snow at

Snowflake Bentley's website is here. The image I used is one he made. According to the website, "Wilson Bentley did not copyright his photographs and thus they are in the public domain and free to use for any purpose." You just can't sell them, or make them into something to sell. Thank you, Mr. Bentley.

The Poetry Friday round up is at Yat-Yee Chong.


  1. Wow. Between Mr. Bentley and Mr. Longfellow, I have a whole new attitude about snow. Ice, no. But snow as the poem of the air? I can catch that on my tongue. :)

  2. Beautiful Snowflake Mr Bentley! The Longfellow Poem is wonderful too. Now I'm actually looking forward to a little snow for the Holidays :)

  3. I sure liked playing in it when I was a kid, but I'm also sure glad I don't have to drive in it anymore.

  4. Anonymous9:24 AM

    "This is the poem of the air Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
    This is the secret of despair,"
    My favorite lines. Love this. I am hoping for snow. Thank you for sharing.

  5. It "kindof" snowed here in Denver! Thanks for my poem of the day!

  6. I love Bentley and am always amazed by the perfect symmetry in his photos. I could stare at the snowflake for hours. Now, if someone could only read poetry to me while I do it!

  7. Snowflakes are so miraculous. I love this poem, but I don't necessarily love snow. Still, the "poem of the air?" Beautiful.

  8. We've had a few flurries here, but no real snow yet... I have to say I love snow up until about January 2. And then it should stop. (But being in Chicago, well... it doesn't.)

  9. Anonymous1:57 PM

    Out my window it's nothing but "woodlands brown and bare" and "harvest-fields forsaken." But I find myself now looking forward to those snowflakes!


  10. My students are ready to put their pajamas on inside out and backwards in hopes of creating a snow day. I loved the "cloud-folds of her garments shaken."

  11. How is it that poems of snow warm your heart? Lovely.

  12. Anonymous9:03 PM

    What a fantastic poem. I can't wait to share it w/my students. :)


  13. Oh I love poetry Friday! That is a lovely poem, thank you!


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