Saturday 5 December 2015

19th Century Snow by Joan Lennon

By the time you read/look at this, the weather will be different - that's a thing you can count on, pretty much.  But on the day I set myself to write my post, it snowed.  Now, because I live near the coast, snow rarely lies long, so I quickly took some pictures, partly to give the impermanent a sort of permanence, and partly to send to my son in Indonesia who was asking for photos of home.  Which made me think about the snow that home has carried on its roof from time to time over the years, and because it is a 19th century house I thought about 19th century paintings of snow and then because I was feeling a bit lonely, I thought of Emily Dickinson.  And that is why my post today is the way it is.

Claude Monet Train in the Snow 1875

J.M.W. Turner Snow Storm: Steamboat off a Harbour's Mouth 1842

Paul Gaugin Winter Landscape 1879

Vincent Van Gogh Two Peasant Women Digging in a Snow-covered Field 1890

Utagagawa Kunisada Snow Scene 19th century

It sifts from Leaden Sieves —
It powders all the Wood.
It fills with Alabaster Wool
The Wrinkles of the Road —

It makes an Even Face
Of Mountain, and of Plain —
Unbroken Forehead from the East
Unto the East again —

It reaches to the Fence —
It wraps it Rail by Rail
Till it is lost in Fleeces —
It deals Celestial Vail

To Stump, and Stack — and Stem —
A Summer's empty Room —
Acres of Joints, where Harvests were,
Recordless, but for them—

It Ruffles Wrists of Posts
As Ankles of a Queen —
Then stills its Artisans — like Ghosts —
Denying they have been —

Emily Dickinson The Snow 1891

Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.


Carol Drinkwater said...

Sorry you are feeling lonely, Joan. Or perhaps that has also drifted away? I love snow but we rarely see it in the S of France. Have a lovely Christmas. x

Sue Purkiss said...

Lovely pictures and poem!

Penny Dolan said...

Shivering as I see these paintings, and read the poem. Around now can be such a sad and hollow-feeling time of year.

The Turner seascape reminds me of that scene in the Turner film where he is shown tied to a mast and blasted by the weather while he tries to work on a picture.
Must go and warm up now.