We continue to experience drought in Denver (not in the mountains as much), so the few inches of snow early this week were welcome. The temperature dropped from 60 to 20 on Monday and it snowed. Tuesday when I rolled out the trash barrel, the eucalyptus seed pods rattled in the wind, the pine tree was indeed crusted with snow, only on the north side, and the squirrels perched in the cottonwood sat fluffed, with tails curled over their bodies. I remembered The Snow Man, by Wallace Stevens.
I imagine that most of you know this poem, but I share it as a goodbye to January, to that bleak month of winter’s middle. In February we have the month of lovers, and then think of March winds bringing April showers. See, it’s almost time to think of spring!
The poem begins:
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
The rest can be read here.
There are other poems about snow to discover on the same page.
I began reading more about Stevens at the Poets.org site, and found that he was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, but lived most of his life in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a lawyer who walked the two miles to his work, a Hartford financial company, and said that he composed his poems while he walked, liking to match the words to his steps. He loved Hartford and the site also shares a poem that Stevens wrote about his beloved city.
There in Hartford, Stevens also loved a park named Elizabeth Park, where he walked daily to and from his home, I suppose after work. Today a 2.4 mile walking tour can be taken along the path Stevens took. The path is described as having 13 Connecticut granite stones, each carved with a verse from Thirteen Ways of Looking At A Blackbird. Photos below.