All posts tagged: Longfellow

Poem of the week: Snow-Flakes by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Poetry

Snow-Flakes Out of the bosom of the Air,Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,Over the woodlands brown and bare,Over the harvest-fields forsakenSilent, and soft, and slowDescends the snow. Even as our cloudy fancies takeSuddenly shape in some divine expression,Even as the troubled heart doth makeIn the white countenance confession,The troubled sky revealsThe grief it feels. This is the poem of the air,Slowly in silent syllables recorded;This is the secret of despair,Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,Now whispered and revealedTo wood and field. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, born in Portland, Maine in 1807, was an enormously popular poet in his time, and, notwithstanding, a serious one. His translation and editing, as well as his popularity, were intellectual bridges linking America and Europe. He died in 1882 and modernism soon overtook what many would see as his essentially 19th-century poetics. His reputation now seems unequal to his achievement. Snow-Flakes is often thought to be a poem about, well, snow. An evocation of snowfall in the first verse suggests that this may be all the poem wants to …