First Snow, Kerhonkson

By Diane di Prima b. 1934 Diane di Prima

for Alan

This, then, is the gift the world has given me
(you have given me)
softly the snow
cupped in hollows
lying on the surface of the pond
matching my long white candles
which stand at the window
which will burn at dusk while the snow
fills up our valley
this hollow
no friend will wander down
no one arriving brown from Mexico
from the sunfields of California, bearing pot
they are scattered now, dead or silent
or blasted to madness
by the howling brightness of our once common vision
and this gift of yours—
white silence filling the contours of my life.

Diane di Prima, “First Snow, Kerhonkson” from Pieces of a Song. Copyright © 1990 by Diane di Prima. Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books.

Source: Pieces of a Song: Selected Poems (City Lights Books, 1990)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Diane di Prima b. 1934

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Subjects Living, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Weather, Winter

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Feminist Beat poet Diane di Prima was born in Brooklyn, New York. She attended Swarthmore College for two years before moving to Greenwich Village in Manhattan and becoming a writer in the emerging Beat movement. There, she developed friendships with poets Amiri Baraka, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Frank O’Hara, and Audre Lorde. After joining Timothy Leary’s intentional community in upstate New York, she moved to San Francisco . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Weather, Winter

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.