Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday's Poetry: "Winter Fancies"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

Several friends and relatives in the Midwest have told me that they have snow and are expecting more snow - and it is damned cold!  Will winter ever end?  There comes a point when those picture-perfect Christmas card scenes of Currier and Ives begin to lose their quaint charm.  Snow drifts and busy snow plows are not beautiful forever.

It's all a matter of stamina and attitude.  Hang in there, Heartland!

This week's poem is by a very famous Midwestern poet, one whose verses were often memorized by school children just a few generations ago.   Indiana native, James Whitcomb Riley, wrote literally hundreds of poems - along with the occasional short story and book.  His prolific pen helped to describe America at the turn of the twentieth century - a land of strength and character that was imbued with golden promise by the Hoosier poet.

"Winter Fancies" looks at winter from a warm house - staring out through a frosty window.

Winter Fancies
by James Whitcomb Riley

Winter without
And warmth within;
The winds may shout
And the storm begin;
The snows may pack
At the window pane,
And the skies grow black,
And the sun remain
Hidden away
The livelong day--
But here--in here is the warmth of May!


Swoop your spitefullest
Up the flue,
Wild Winds--do!
What in the world do I care for you?
O delightfullest
Weather of all,
Howl and squall,
And shake the trees till the last leaves fall!


The joy one feels,
In an easy chair,
Cocking his heels
In the dancing air
That wreathes the rim of a roaring stove
Whose heat loves better than hearts can love,
Will not permit
The coldest day
To drive away
The fire in his blood, and the bliss of it!


Then blow, Winds, blow!
And rave and shriek,
And snarl and snow
Till your breath grows weak--
While here in my room
I'm as snugly shut
As a glad little worm
In the heart of a nut! 

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