Thursday, January 13, 2011

Quiet House: Two Authors Record a Storm

Now we were creeping ahead, groping our way through a blinding blizzard. At times we could see no more than a few car lengths before us. All the highway signs were obliterated by snow. So we advanced for ten miles, twenty miles...

It took us nearly half an hour to creep those last six miles. All the time the blizzard closed tighter around us. Once, in the very heart of the gale, I glimpsed for an instant a crow hurtling on the wind across the highway and into the woods.

Edwin Way Teale, Wandering Through Winter (1966)

Some black ducks
were shrugged up
on the shore.
It was snowing

hard, from the east,
and the sea
was in disorder.
Then some sanderlings,

five inches long
with beaks like wire,
flew in,
snowflakes on their backs,

and settled
in a row
behind the ducks --
whose backs were also

covered with snow --
so close
they were all but touching,
they were all but under

the roof of the ducks' tails,
so the wind, pretty much,
blew over them.
They stayed that way, motionless,

for maybe an hour,
then the sanderlings,
each a handful of feathers,
shifted, and were blown away

out over the water
which was still raging...

Mary Oliver, "In the Storm" from Thirst (2006)


Anonymous said...

I found your blog when I was reading the blog of Julie who lives in London.I am french.I am learning english with a teacher and some friends.When I read your blog it's for me a good exercise.And sometimes I need the dictionary,but not often!


John said...

Welcome, Jo!

Ur-spo said...

I like a good poem; Ms. Oliver's are splendid.