Poetry Friday: Snow, snow, and more snow…

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POETRY FRIDAY is hosted by Betsy @ I Think in Poems

The snow storm has arrived…as promised by the weather experts.  Snow is falling gently and steadily.  It is so peaceful right now, but I imagine it will turn fierce before too long.

snowfall

The Old Church Park in Helsinki, Finland; Wikimedia Commons

The Snowfall is so Silent

  by Miguel de Unamuno – translated by Robert Bly

The snowfall is so silent,
so slow,
bit by bit, with delicacy
it settles down on the earth
and covers over the fields.
The silent snow comes down
white and weightless; 
snowfall makes no noise,
falls as forgetting falls, 
flake after flake.
It covers the fields gently
while frost attacks them
with its sudden flashes of white;
covers everything with its pure
and silent covering;
not one thing on the ground
anywhere escapes it.
And wherever it falls it stays,
content and gay,
for snow does not slip off 
as rain does,
but it stays and sinks in.
The flakes are skyflowers,
pale lilies from the clouds,
that wither on earth.
They come down blossoming
but then so quickly
they are gone;
they bloom only on the peak,
above the mountains,
and make the earth feel heavier
when they die inside.
Snow, delicate snow,
that falls with such lightness 
on the head,
on the feelings,
come and cover over the sadness
that lies always in my reason.
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14 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Snow, snow, and more snow…

  1. This is a great poem! This is my favorite, “falls as forgetting falls,
    flake after flake.”

    Right now, we are officially experiencing a blizzard here in NH!

  2. From our news it seems that all of you in the east are experiencing a really bad storm. Nice of you to share such a lovely poem. The snowplow drivers would not think of the snow in the same way I suppose. It is lovely, Tara. I love “The flakes are skyflowers,
    pale lilies from the clouds,/that wither on earth.” Thank you, and keep warm, hope your electricity holds!

  3. What a beautiful poem. The images are lovely. We are blanketed in snow today, too. The sun is shining, but, like Mary Lee said, it is so very, very cold. Stay warm and enjoy the snow.

  4. This is a beautiful poem. When I saw it was translated my first thought was, the silence of snowfall needs no translation. Those of us who have experienced it, get it. There is much peace to be found there.

  5. Snow “falls as forgetting falls” – that’s just what I see when I look outside the window when snow is coming down. Thanks so much for posting this! Robert Bly makes a good effort at translating Unamuno into English, but take a look at how absolutely smooth and silent the original version is, full of soft “a” sounds, and full of rhyme – you can see it even if you don’t understand the Spanish:
    http://www.anundis.com/profiles/blogs/la-nevada-es-silenciosa-miguel-de-unamuno

    Beautiful poem, and perfect for today’s Poetry Friday.

    • Wow, thanks for sharing this, Julie. I can’t speak Spanish, but I tried to read it aloud and you are so right about those full, soft sounds.

  6. Tara, I live in the rural northeast where we are getting a ton of snow, too. For me, the silence of the snow falling has always been deafeningly loud. I’ve never loved the snow here, as I am a worshipper of green things, singing things, crawling things, and blossoming things. It feels very hopeful to think of the snow as skyflowers, though. I love that imagery, and will try to remember it the next time I go outside and try, once again, to become a winter person. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. This is hauntingly gorgeous. Two of my favorite lines are:

    snowfall makes no noise,
    falls as forgetting falls,

    I can imagine it would be wonderful in the original Spanish–so romantic and sad.

  8. This poem makes me want to understand the poet better, find out why he is sad. (I just googled Unamuno, and found that he had a pretty tumultuous life, which included being exiled for six years.)

  9. Lovely. This reminds me of the ending of “The Dead” by James Joyce: “His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.” Thanks for sharing, Tara.

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