By Robert Bridges
When men were all asleep the snow came flying,
In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,
Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town;
Deadening, muffling, stifling its murmurs failing;
Lazily and incessantly floating down and down:
Silently sifting and veiling road, roof and railing;
Hiding difference, making unevenness even,
Into angles and crevices softly drifting and sailing.
All night it fell, and when full inches seven
It lay in the depth of its uncompacted lightness,
The clouds blew off from a high and frosty heaven;
And all woke earlier for the unaccustomed brightness
Of the winter dawning, the strange unheavenly glare:
The eye marvelled - marvelled at the dazzling whiteness;
The ear hearkened to the stillness of the solemn air;
No sound of wheel rumbling nor of foot falling,
And the busy morning cries came thin and spare.
Then boys I heard, as they went to school, calling,
They gathered up the crystal manna to freeze
Their tongues with tasting, their hands with snowballing;
Or rioted in a drift, plunging up to the knees;
Or peering up from under the white-mossed wonder!'
'O look at the trees!' they cried, 'O look at the trees!'
With lessened load a few carts creak and blunder,
Following along the white deserted way,
A country company long dispersed asunder:
When now already the sun, in pale display
Standing by Paul's high dome, spread forth below
His sparkling beams, and awoke the stir of the day.
For now doors open, and war is waged with the snow;
And trains of sombre men, past tale of number,
Tread long brown paths, as toward their toil they go:
But even for them awhile no cares encumber
Their minds diverted; the daily word is unspoken,
The daily thoughts of labour and sorrow slumber
At the sight of the beauty that greets them,
For the charm they have broken.
I slept till nearly 11, which sounds very slothful and indulgent but I could breathe all day! I didn't do much else that was strenuous -- took younger son's county science fair submission to the post office, dropped him off at Hebrew school, went to CVS to get more Cold-eeze which actually seemed to help this time, plus Valentine's Day candy while it's on sale. To avoid the early hours of Super Tuesday coverage, we watched The Mummy, which remains as entertaining as ever. Though it's kind of weird to hear Rachel Weisz saying "Death is only the beginning" after The Fountain and "Death is the road to awe" -- an awful lot of her roles are preoccupied with death (The Constant Gardener and Constantine too).
A northern blue-tongued skink...
A pair of anoles...
A Cuban crocodile...
A Caribbean iguana...
...and a Madagascar gecko.
Right now Huckabee is on blathering about the Founding Fathers, protecting the Second Amendment and swearing to protect the unborn, and my skin is crawling. I really, truly don't know what to do next week; on the issues I care about the most, Clinton has a more consistent record than Obama not just in terms of voting but of making them priorities, and I am appalled at the level of sexism I have seen among the media, politicians and ordinary citizens alike. I'm frustrated that a significant number of people I know personally who prefer Obama are very willing to acknowledge that it's style over substance, that they blame Hillary for things they don't like about her husband, that they can parrot things Obama has said about hope without being able to answer one question about what he has said he will actually do if elected on a whole host of issues.
And yet it is SO important that the Democrats win this time out, and if it's true that young people won't bother to come to the polls for Clinton whereas they would for Obama, or that Obama is more likely to draw in moderate Republican crossovers, then I am very willing to support him and have him for my president...I just hate, hate, hate the feeling that yet again a woman is being silenced in a field arrayed against her from the start, that the best way I may be able to support women's issues is to vote against one. I don't know what to do. I hate feeling so powerless and like, yet again, I am primarily voting against someone rather than voting for someone. I wish I could be one of those confident angry bloggers who make declarative statements that possibly no one listens to anyway.
Meanwhile I have a big stereo cabinet in the middle of my living room that we inherited from my parents, who have replaced theirs; we have to disconnect the stereo to move it into the new cabinet, so it probably won't get done till the weekend. Its current location has required moving the cat beds, though, and need I tell you the upheaval this is causing? I predict cats walking all over me while I try to sleep. At least it's supposed to be 70 degrees tomorrow, though rainy. Have a good Ash Wednesday if you observe it.