Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blizzard of 2013: Praying to the Snow Plow

It's always a problem in these parts.  After spending hours shoveling out following a snow storm,  you watch the city's snow plow (when it finally arrives) as it carelessly plows in the driveway you have just so painstakingly  cleared. That is, unless you happen to be on the street when the snow plow passes, and you happen to be lucky.  If you can catch the eye of the driver, and, bowing your head, you place your hands together in the attitude of prayer, you just may be fortunate enough to watch that snow plow widen the opening to your driveway, rather than block it full of snow again, or at the very least, watch as the snow plow carefully avoids plowing  the snow from the rest of the street right into the opening to your driveway.


  1. In 1978 I was still living in Hopkinton at my parents' house. I spent three days shoveling out. Notwithstanding global warming, this is still New England, and yes, we still have winters with snow and cold. What always comes to mind is a poem by Boris Pasternak from "Doctor Zhivago" ;

    Snow, snow, snow
    All the month of February it snowed.

    Cruciform shadows, cruciform destinies....

    If anybody is interested I can find the complete text. M.P.

  2. Here it is


    Snow, snow the world over,
    Sweeping it, end to end.
    The candle burned on the table,
    the candle burned.

    Like a crowd of summer midges
    flying to the flame,
    droves of snowflakes swarmed
    against the window pane.

    Snow-blasts moulded circles,
    arrows on the glass.
    The candle burned on the table,
    the candle burned.

    Against the ceiling's brightness
    dark shadows falling,
    crossed ankles, crossed wrists,
    destinies crossing.

    And two shoes dropped
    with a thud to the floor,
    and waxen tears dropped
    from candle to dress.

    And in the grey-white snowy
    darkness,all was lost.
    The candle burned on the table,
    the candle burned.

    A draught from the corner
    blew: temptation's heat
    raised, like and angel,
    a crucifix of wings.

    Snow all through February
    and time and again
    the candle burned on the table,
    the candle burned.

    Out side of Russian Pasternak is most remembered for the novel "Doctor Zhivago". People forget that he was a great poet as much as a great novelist. This translation is not the one that I read when I was in college. Crossed ankles ect... Pasternak coined the adjective "pererobraznie" cruciform. This version is from