Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Seeing the snowman standing all alone
In dusk and cold is more than he can bear.
The small boy weeps to hear the wind prepare
A night of gnashings and enormous moan.
His tearful sigh can hardly reach to where
the pale-faced figure with bitumen eyes
Returns him such a god-forsaken stare
As outcast Adam gave to Paradise.

The man of snow is, nonetheless, content,
Having no wish to go inside and die.
Still, he is moved to see the youngster cry.
Though frozen water is his element,
He melts enough to drop from one soft eye
A trickle of the purest rain, a tear
For the child at the bright pane surrounded by
Such warmth, such light, such love, and so much fear.


Boy at the Window by Richard Wilbur
photo by willow, 1989

56 comments:

  1. Wow!
    I was not familiar with this stunning poem.
    Loved it.

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  2. tender and touching...love the photo. is it one of yours?

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  3. Yes, he's my youngest, who's 22. Can you believe this cutie is 6'2" and 220 lbs. now?

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  4. What a beautiful bit of verse, and a perfect picture.

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  5. Good morning Willow,

    This time, I was determined to get in towards the top of the list!

    The photo is beautiful and so is the poem, thanks.

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  6. I recently came across your blog. I blog everyday for the Houston Police Department Recruiting Unit and thought I was doing ok...until I saw your blog. You have done an amazing job with your blog. I can see your passion and feelings go in to it. Great job.

    Mike
    www.hpdcareer.blogspot.com

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  7. I am moved to tears by this poem, thank you! The last line is so powerful - I can feel the terrible terrors of childhood, of such intensity, for 'things' that in the adult world have lost much - if not all - of their life force. Thankfully we still have poetry...

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  8. Amazing photo, Willow... and beautifully paired! Delightful post.

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  9. love the poem and the picture is incredible.

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  10. Is that one of your boys? He looks like he could be!

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  11. Ahhh, through the eyes of a child...as I wipe the nose smudges from my window, it cometh again...beautiful poem. Enjoy your snows.

    sharon

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  12. The poem is beautiful and the image (I suppose he is your son) is a haunting one that even after I've changed the page and gone to the comments has stayed with me.

    You managed to capture a combination of tenderness, innocence and purity so well that words are superfluous.

    Marvellous post. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  13. beautiful poem; beautiful child.

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  14. Lovely poem and perfect image for it. In your comment I see that he's your son and all grown up. I find it a shock that my son is bigger than me too. Your boy resembles you in expression especially.

    It's snowing here but not hard enough to cancel school. My kids would much rather be building a snowman. A different type of teariness.

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  15. Willow, isn't it bittersweet to have your babies all grown at Christmas time? Your photo captures the feeling of the poem perfectly. Nice post.

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  16. That was lovely - you should have had 'Walking in the Air' playing at the same time. That bit when the snowman melts always makes me emotional

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  17. This poem is beautiful and that picture of your son is priceless. I love the way the light illuminates his sweet little face and just look at that great profile! My daughter looks so radiant when she gazes from the window like this but I never seem to be near a camera when she does..Must remedy that...Thank you for sharing this...

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  18. Love this one, Willow. And your little guy was soooo cute! =)

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  19. What a gentle capture, Willow! The boy's skin is glowing with warmth and wonder. Your son might remember the day he stared out the window and felt the sun on his face.

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  20. Perfect picture for that wonderful poem. Nice touch!

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  21. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
    Great photo too.
    I'm reminded a bit of a video we watch every year at Christmas time...THE SNOWMAN. Magical indeed and full of the wonder only a child can bring to life.

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  22. Kate, it reminded me of Raymond Brigg's "The Snowman", too. I still watch it every year, even if no one else is interested! :^)

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  23. Those two sure go hand in hand as perfect compliments. What a sweet photo of your son. He looks lost in dreams...it boggles my mind to see my own son now--I have to look way up to him. ;))in more ways than one!

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  24. Your boy is beautiful and I can well relate - mine is 19 but much the same size. Lovely sentiments, xv.

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  25. What an awesome poem! How special to find something so fitting to go with the adorable picture of your son!

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  26. I have not seen this poem before but I love it. Thanks for putting it on your blog.

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  27. lovely poem and perfect photo for it.

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  28. Moving post, Willow. Beautiful photograph of your son. Any cookies left?
    Catherine

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  29. So lovely Willow...
    I have a confession. Today when I passed a little shop right out in the deepest and darkest Sussex countryside today, I noticed two little, slightly raggedy looking Christmas trees waiting to be sold. ..It made me feel so sad. I almost felt I had to go in and buy them!! Oh dear...time for the weekend I feel!
    Love to all the raggedy Christmas trees out there..you do have a place in this world..
    Molly x

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  30. Willow -

    'Twas a nice little ditty left, and it did remind me of 'The Snowman' narrated by David Bowie, I believe. However, I think there is another little ditty that could be as appropriate, if not more so. (ahem)

    "I got chills, they're multiplyin'. . ."

    What?

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  31. Was about to make your chocolate chip cookies.
    What army are you going to feed?
    Can I quarter it?
    Math too complicated - will just do the usual eyeball method.
    They look mouthwatering even over the web!

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  32. Sweet baby boy, heart melts a little like the snow man with purest rain tear...Snow men are always a bit sad - anything person shaped that endures such a slow death, alone, in the freeze gets me!

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  33. Elizabeth, yes, you can divide the recipe or make the entire thing and freeze the unused dough. Both the dough and cookies freeze well. I know, it makes a ton, which is great for the army of family here next week.

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  34. Thought I recognized a Willow product! Nice combination of poem and picture.

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  35. Heartwarming poem and an awesome photo.

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  36. loved the poem, but the photo was my fav - really good! Willow!

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  37. Well, this 1989 photograph is a perfect accompaniment to this beautiful poem.

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  38. Sweet writing. Here in subtropical Australia, it's lovely to imagine all that snow. I'm about to move to a town with a colder climate, and am looking forward to my son's first snow man. It's sad when they melt, but then the snowdrops come...

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  39. Beautiful poem, wonderful photograph, enchanting child... yes, I'm thinking Briggs' "Snowman" too! So you always *were* an ace girl photographer!

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  40. This is such a great photo!
    Love the poem too!

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  41. Keep capturing the world in your great lenses!
    Congrats for having a Blog of Note!
    Cheers!

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  42. Great poem that fits in well with the snow fall last night.

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  43. What a fine poem. It emboldens me to seek out more Richard Wilbur. And the photo is perfect, as B&W can be. Lovely juxtaposition and mood.

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  44. Hello I really like your blog, I would like a link exchange with you, I insert your blog to my favorite blogs ;)

    the address of my blog is: http://marcocrupifoto.blogspot.com/

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  45. What a wonderful photo to go with the poem! Your little boy is so cute! :-)

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  46. Great poem. I hope you and your family have the very merriest of Christmases. Pappy

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  47. OH, love that pic of #3 child! Don't you wish you could step back in time and give him a squeeze!?

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  48. Very moving and nostalgic, poem and photo!

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  49. It's a grand poem, but in all truth it's eclipsed by the stunning photograph.

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  50. What a lovely poem! We are having our first blizzard and I am very cozy with my human and fur family this evening! Happy holidays =^..^=

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  51. Fabulous poem and a brilliant photo of your Willow. Superb.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)