Poetry News

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Blizzard Laureate

By Harriet Staff

The Kansas City Star features a poem written in the midst of the blizzard that blanketed the Midwest this week. It's not unusual for viewers to send their local news outlets amazing weather photos or even shot-on-location video reports during events like these. Last week, The New York Times published a series of reader-generated snow haiku, though they would have been more appropriate to track with the hashtag #slog than the exclamatory #SnOMG that took hold the last few days. Snow-bound in Lawrence, Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg takes poetic weather reporting a step further, freezing in time (no pun intended) the four-foot snow drifts and makeshift meals that characterize the jolt of being cut off from the world, even momentarily.

Instead, we will land squarely on this day in the center of
the blizzard that mixes sky and land, wind and verticality,
slants of climbing snow and bare gravel. We will stand
at the window before the rushing ocean of winter,
the dizzy of a billion snowflakes, the stern-hearted cedar
shaking its head, the one red bird balancing on a slim branch

Originally Published: February 4th, 2011