Sunday 20 January 2013


The view from my front door
I have a love/hate relationship with snow. I love the beauty of it and the inspiration it can provide. I hate the way the UK grinds to a halt with a bit of snow. I hate it even more this year as I can't risk falling and it is making me feel very old and trapped in my home.

Many years ago if it snowed when you were at primary school suddenly all classes were adapted. Everything was changed to accommodate snow related exercises. You would be given the chance to write about it. Now as we are older I think sometimes we forget about that joy, so for my students, who couldn't get to class on Friday as the university was closed and the snow fell out of the sky, I sent them an email asking them to write about the snow. I wonder what they will come up with. Maybe today I will write about it too.

In the meantime a good friend sent me this poem via her over heated environment and it is just so beautiful I had to share. It is 'Snow' by Gillian Clarke:

We're brought to our senses, awake
to the black and whiteness of world.
Snow's sensational. It tastes
of ice and fire. Hold a handful of cold.

Ball it between your palms
to throw at the moon. Relish its plushy creak.
Shake blossoms from chestnut and beech,
gather its laundered linen in your arms.

A twig of witch hazel from the ghost-garden
burns like myrrh in this room. Listen!
ice is whispering. Night darkens,
the mercury falls in the glass, glistening.

Motorways muffled in silence, lorries stranded
like dead birds, airports closed, trains trackless.
White paws lope the river on plates of ice
in the city's bewildered wilderness.

It appears in her collection Ice which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, 2013. How fabulous are some of those images - 'ice is whispering' for example?

This post serves no purpose other than to celebrate wonderful writing and snow.

A former student posted this piece of music and suggested you looked out of the window at the snow as you listened to it and then try and write something. Be inspired. A good exercise I think. The music is Balmorhea's Winter Circle


  1. I remember those days - and I did it with my primary school pupils. Don't tell but sometimes I'd just take them out to play.
    Lovely post.
    Oh - and I've written a little piece I'm really quite chuffed with featuring snow.

    1. shock horror, how could you take them play!!! Those are times that memories are made of. Perfect.
      Would love to read your piece featuring snow