06 April 2010

Mellifluous... Tuesday

"Dust of Snow"
by Robert Frost

The way a crow
shook down on me
the dust of snow
from a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
a change of mood
and saved a part
of a day I rued.

No snow in Lancaster anymore-- hurray-- but this phenomenon can occur in any season. A small action or image suddenly shifts our mood, and the whole day seems different. It's like twisting a lens to sharpen focus, or sprinkling soup with salt to make the flavors sing. Somehow, a little thing that's insignificant by any rational measure reaches in to affect us.

I wonder why? Usually, I think it's because of some "reminder" the small thing carries with it, whether it naturally has that meaning or has received it by association. A clump of primroses bursts into our day with a display of springtime life, its sunny colors defying our attempts to be gloomy. Or a stack of books reminds us of the grandmother who once read them, sobering an otherwise frivolous mood through its whisper of death.

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