Baltimore, poetry

how many things have become silent?

There is a layer on top of the banisters on the outside stairs that’s as tall as my elbow to my extended fingers, and it’s still falling: little fluffy specks. Not cold, not icy – not yet. But lots and lots of it. So, in the absence of snowplows, here is a snowpoem by RPW.

There are many things in the world and you
Are one of them. Many things keep happening and
You are one of them, and the happening that
Is you keeps falling like snow
On the landscape of not-you, hiding hideousness, until
The streets and the world of wrath are choked with snow.

How many things have become silent? Traffic
Is throttled. The mayor
Has been, clearly, remiss, and the city
Was totally unprepared for such a crisis. Nor
was I — yes, why should this happen to me?
I have always been a law-abiding citizen.

But you, like snow, like love, keep falling.

And it is not certain that the world will not be
Covered in a glitter of crystalline whiteness.


Robert Penn Warren, “Love Recognized,” Now and Then (link is to him reading, in his very dramatic voice)