Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snowflake Man (dedicated to Wilson 'Snowflake' Bentley)

You were born an original, don’t die a copy. John Mason

Sudden and silent,
a hushed rush of white,
falling from heaviest heaven.

Chaotic crystals of luminous light.
The day holds its breath,
lifts its head.

Frozen but fragile,
so softly they bite,
as Jericho’s snowflake man
rescues his jewels.
He hurries through flurries,
to capture, to save,
then watches each masterpiece melt.

And deep in December,
he dies for his art,
braves one blizzard too far
with his battered log books.
What he saw in the snowflakes,
he showed to a world
who just had no patience to look.

1 comment:

steven.nash82 said...

I love this one - and thanks for bringing "Snowflake" to our attention - I'd never heard of him and he sounds like a proper dude.

There's something epiphanic about this and about snowflakes in general. This is particularly brought out in your epigram by Mason.
The snowflake - emphasised at the beginning as being so slight and juxtaposed with the heaviness of the heaven is then, in the hands of a great poet, turned into an agent of illumination, of a moment we could speak of as epiphany.

It's wonderfully evocative and also a lovely epigraph. The poem is a series of continually inventive pictures of what seems a commonplace object, it's a portrait which becomes, as the poem moves forward, ever more evocative and magical.

The sentences are graceful, the details beautifully observed, and the figurative language is perfectly appropriate to the larger theme of the poem.

It should have been either a cold, foreboding set of images, or something done to death, but it's a warm, evocative elegy thanks to your talent for metaphoric language and for portraying sensory details with haunting precision.

Sorry it took so long to comment.

Love both the new poems