Between the snow and the roses
It snowed today in Dublin, and given that this is such a rare, and heartflippingly thrilling occurence to see a white and flurring blizzard through the big panes of Tara street, I want to mark it with something beautiful about snow and more than snow. Though snow has caught the imagination of many literary giants (Orhan Pamuk, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson spring to mind – any others?), this is still my favourite, by Louis MacNeice.
The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.
World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.
And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes -
On the tongue and the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands -
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.