Baltimore, poetry, quotes

Let us go back to snow

Yesterday, walking home, white flowers over a tree I last remembered covered in white snow. It’s a good enough reason for Richard Hugo’s snow poem, which I didn’t know in the time of the last blizzard. It’s April, it’s warm, students in sundresses.


To write a snow poem you must ignore the snow
falling outside your window.

You must think snow, the word as a snotty owl
high on the telephone pole

glowering down and your forehead damp with fear
under the glare

of the owl who now is mating. On rare days
we remember the toy

owl we buried under the compost heap,
white sky passing above, warm chirp

of wren and the avenging hawk.
That was summer. Let us go back

to snow and forget that damn fool lecture
I gave last winter.

Well, then: here is your window.
The storm outside. Outside, the dead dove drifting.

– Richard Hugo