Insights / Kodiak, AK / Photography

Let it snow, please. How about that winter 2015-2016 forecast, anyway?

Snowflakes, snow crystals, photograph, ice

Every morning at 6 AM, our public radio station wakes us up with Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. If you haven’t heard the podcast narrated by Keillor, it’s a wonderful, 2 to 3-minute, “this day in history” snapshot, followed by a poem. Today’s poem, for December 7, was called “Snow” by Anne Sexton. I closed my eyes and sank into the pillow as rain pelted the window, confirmation that the winter 2015-2016 outlook forecast is calling for another warm winter for northerners. Will I be able to photograph snowflakes? “There is hope,” says Anne. “There is hope everywhere.”

snowflake, snow, macro, photograph, Alaska

Photograph of a real, live snowflake taken by Marion Owen

blessed snow,
comes out of the sky
like bleached flies.
The ground is no longer naked.
The ground has on its clothes.
The trees poke out of sheets
and each branch wears the sock of God.
There is hope.
There is hope everywhere.
I bite it.
Someone once said:
Don’t bite till you know
if it’s bread or stone.
What I bite is all bread,
rising, yeasty as a cloud.
There is hope.
There is hope everywhere.
Today God gives milk
and I have the pail.

~ by Anne Sexton
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No Comments

  • Sartenada
    December 19, 2015 at 9:07 PM

    Thank You. I asked it due to it, that I live in Finland; we have snow, ice and cold. Few days ago there were for the first time ice crystals on our balcony windows and photographed them. I will show them next year.
    Merry Christmas to you also.

  • Sartenada
    December 19, 2015 at 1:40 AM

    I just wonder where the snowflake was, when You photographed it – in a window?

    • marionowen
      December 19, 2015 at 9:22 AM

      I photographed the snowflake outside, on a glass microscope slide, under cover of a portable outhouse tent. I travel often to Anchorage, Alaska to photograph snowflakes sometimes when the weather on Kodiak Island is too warm. Thanks for your comment/question. Merry Christmas!

  • Daryle in VT
    December 7, 2015 at 7:58 PM

    Actually, here in Vermont, when it is cool enough, we make our own snow.

    • marionowen
      December 7, 2015 at 8:01 PM

      And Vermonters are SO GOOD at making snow! I might have to zip over with my camera this winter. I’ll be there this spring, though, during maple sugar time…

  • Linda Campbell
    December 7, 2015 at 3:00 PM

    Anne Sexton was a close friend of one of my brothers-in-law. Although she talks about hope in this poem, it’s sad to realize that she didn’t personally subscribe to it as pertaining to herself. She committed suicide in 1974.

    • marionowen
      December 7, 2015 at 5:07 PM

      Oh, my, Linda. I’m sure Anne, and the people around her, had a complicated life. My mother suffered greatly from mental illness, in and out of institutions, on the street, low income housing. Pancreatic cancer finally got her. (I wrote about her in Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, a bestselling book I co-authored). I like to think that she had a “breathe of joy” perhaps, when writing “Snow.” My mom, a Stanford graduate, had flashes of brilliance, too.


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