Sunday, November 25, 2012

Today's poem 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.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
from Tales of a Wayside Inn published November 25, 1863


  1. Oh I love snow, I hope we get some here in the U.K instead of the endless rain and gales. I am fortunate not to be flooded, some people are having a very hard time.
    Longfellow, such a brilliant rhymer isn't he? I remember us all chanting Hiawatha at school. Poignant too, 'The troubled sky reveals, the grief it feels', very tender lines.

    1. I love his work, and find it very accessible. I always hope when I put up a poem that someone will go search out more of his poetry. And it is nice to have rhyme!
      We did a musical play of H. in elementary school, and how I'd love to have that sheet music now. The tunes were so beautiful. I plan to reread it and hopefully write about it here sometime in the near future.
      I like your word 'tender.' It is perfect.
      Sorry about your weather. Wasn't this the strain of summer too - lots of rain. Next spring should be especially green.

  2. Love it! It's snowing here today, too. And this is exactly what it feels like.

    1. We have some flakes, and then they stop and the sun comes out. Quite beautiful. I think HWL is so wonderful.

  3. Oh how I hope we get some snow this year! Today we are having a typical Dutch storm with very high winds. And what did we do today? Get our garden winter Yes...we are a little crazy. :-)

    Do you already have some snow? My mother also has flurries in Ohio.

    Are you still using GoodReads? Lesley just asked me and I looked for you to no avail.

    Hugs from Holland ~

    1. How nice to see you! This morning we have a tiny bit more than in the photo above.
      I left Goodreads a while ago. I just couldn't keep up! I should have let you and Lesley know when I quit. Sorry.

  4. Wonderful, Nan, and reminding me of a few nights we spent at the Wayside Inn. Must pull out the collection of Longfellow's work and settle in for a spell. Thank you.

    1. I'm pleased to know you own his poetry. I love 'settle in for a spell.' Perfect.

  5. Perfect poem. I woke up to fresh and beautiful snow today!

  6. You know, that is a beautiful poem. Who thinks to pick up Longfellow in 2012, other than you? "This is the poem of the air/Slowly in silent syllables recorded." I mean. Really. I am bowing before that, mentally at least. Thank you.

  7. This is a beautiful poem which I never read before though I like Longfellow a lot.
    It is not the only way I experience snow, but it's one way and he expressed it amazingly well.

    1. I hope there will be a resurgence of interest in him. He writes so beautifully.


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