I remember the Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2011 and the wild and terrifying beauty of the thundersnow. It was just amazing–a powerful force of nature.
I was reminded of this poem by William Butler Yeats. It’s been years since I read it. I read the poem again, and I was struck by its immediacy. It blew me away. Yeats was 63 when he wrote it, and it is a work of genius. It begins as a refuge against the elements outside– the world that does not make sense. Here is the comfort of company and conversation, of books and learning, memories of years ago. Is there a longing for the crazy days? Maybe so.
But it’s not a reading lesson, or the consolations of poetry. I think of it now as an affirmation of life—all the disappointments, pain, and loss. There is no going back, no regret or nostalgia. It is wild as the weather, alive, mad as the poets in the mist and snow.
Here is a version by the superb band, the Waterboys. Enjoy!
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