January 4 Louis MacNeice

Let us now share a more modern sensibility, and hear what Louis MacNeice, as a poet of the 1930s, felt about snow.

This poem is still within the copyright period.

bay window snow photo


This poem, largely unrhymed, with lines of irregular length and in modern style surprises us with the force of an apocalypse; a sudden revelation of the amazingness of existence: What’s this all about? Snow, roses, the sharp taste of a tangerine and the feel of its peel and pips, the sound of a popping fire, and all at once? I just don’t be-lieve it. Here is a poem recording a moment of heightened consciousness, of sharpened awareness, when the utter strangeness of existence is suddenly apprehended; and our minds, stimulated by unexpected phrases and elliptic connections, struggle through to share the experience, the dazzling contrasts of white and red, bitter and sweet, fire and cold illuminating the significant moment.

Previous Poem: to Winter by William Blake
Next Poem: London Snow by Robert Bridges