Not So Pathetic After All

salinger

So it seems that nothing cuts into your writing time like actually having to go to work, rather than sitting around watching your neighbors try to shovel their cars out of six feet of snow, pointing, and mocking, with the cat. But it is a) the weekend again and b) There Will Be Snow (but only 8 to 10 inches, or possibly 16 to 18). Frankly, most people in New England are numb to the numbers. Or maybe that is just windchill.

When I think of the Great Poets, I do not only think of Homer, Chaucer, and Shakespeare; I also think of Elizabeth Bishop and Billy Collins. But at times even these pale in the shadow of the truly great. Below I give you Winnie the Pooh, my vote for Bard of Snowpocalypse 2015:

The more it snows

(Tiddely-Pom)

The more it goes

(Tiddely-Pom)

The more it goes

(Tiddely-Pom)

on snowing

And nobody knows

(Tiddely-Pom)

How cold my toes

(Tiddely-Pom)

How cold my toes

(Tiddely-Pom)

are growing

If you believe Facebook, poets are not the only ones who take the weather personally, but for me, writing about weather often serves as a good metaphor for the inner life, serene or chaotic. In literature, the so-called pathetic fallacy is the idea that nature mimics human emotion; we see it in anthropomorphisms like “the sky wept.” We like them so much because in fact human emotion often mimics the weather: grey skies make us gloomy, and the sun lifts our gloom.

So what are we to say about six feet of snow in three weeks and another two feet on the way? Now you understand why I like Pooh so much.541

Milne, A.A. I do not remember which book. Illustration by E. Shepherd.

2 comments on “Not So Pathetic After All

  1. You don’t need to be buried under mountains of snow to like the inimitable Pooh. (But I guess it helps!)

    Like

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