This poem refuses any allegiance
to literary expectations. There may
be no cold at all, in fact, or
reference to snow or cold. Newness,
as a thing in itself, beginnings,
vows, numbers might also have little
substantive relevance. It is so confining to
be forced to couch the poem's
context within a conventional set of
given correspondances. All of this is made clear
in the first few lines.
Time's target is refusal
Bared to withdraw from expectations
Presented as the primary agent
The frame becomes the whole picture.
To be new, here , is to recognize
some discomfort. It is winter's warmth,
its succor, which is being regarded.
Appendix 1 Some Very Early Poems
The congregation is convened and
after the spoken portion of the service
is over those present are asked to
rise and sing together. They
are directed to a hymn in their
hymn books having to do with
their God (who was a living god)
as a youth. As a youth this god
was a beautiful young girl. Everywhere
she went people took notice of her.
A shining glimmer
On crystal water
She danced and spun
Above blue waves
Now we see this girl as a young woman
She is courted by countless young men
Who beg to have even a few moments with
her. She notices this less and less however
as she beomes preoccupied with her visions.
These visions are of terrible events:
flood, fires, famines, wars, great
epidemics and terrible
social disasters. She falls into
constant reveries about the
power of prayer to avert these things.
She dreamt her wish
To end all pain
Turning to her visions
Again and again
One day we see her walking with her
sister. An earnest young man approaches
her and asked for a moment of her time.
She consents and looks into his gaze.
Some heaviness of heart immediately
drops away within her. This
man becomes her lover and later her
husband. They are contented together.
Years go by and they have no children.
This is not of great concern to them
because they are satisfied with each
other. One day the husband has to travel
by horseback on a long journey. We see
her near his horse bidding him goodbye.
She is afraid and again turns to prayer.
She had not prayed like this for a
long time. This hymn is of her visions:
From far in time
The hurt draws near
To cover and increase our fear
But when the truth can once be told
Courage will come to warm this cold.
Word comes that her husband has been
enlisted in the army. He is fighting on a
dangerous front. That night she has a
dream that a Spirit comes to her and
whispers the magic words of peace. When
she awakens she realizes she has
to somehow communicate these words to
She travels all over the kingdom.
People come from far away parts of
the country to hear her. More and more
are convinced of the truth and power
of her ideas which are communicated
in simple songs accompanied on her
Parts of the populace take her for
a transcendent spirit. A movement
grows to create a universal
One night she is preparing a
song and the word is delivered that
her husband has been hurt & is going
to return to her. That night he is
brought to hear her sing. Later he has
a dream that her spirit has been transformed into
a rising tide of peace which
covers the world.
His wounds heal and they return to
their former lives. However, her songs
have become part of a growing
belief that a part of her spirit has
become personified in these songs, which
can somehow lead them all to peace
Some myths can be vaguely remembered
but not directly referred to.
No one knows why what is remembered is
remembered. Comprehension lost.