Blizzard 2017 Is in the Books

“Let’s read ‘Snowbound’ together” – Kenneth Koch

Or it will be. Someone should write books about it. I imagine there will be some epic poems coming out of what the Weather Channel was calling “Stella.” Apparently, the National Weather Service is not involving themselves in the marketing scheme of naming winter storms, though. They’re sticking to hurricanes for that kind of treatment. I did hear someone call it Stormageddon 2017. Still, it was not the end of the world even if it did nearly suspend Northeast Pennsylvania in time for a few days.

Twenty-six inches of snow fell here in my neighborhood and apparently more in others. I cannot recall a storm quite like this since 1996 or 93. I recall 96 had me standing on my roof, shoveling snow off so as to avoid a cave-in, and then later overloading a sump pump and declaring my basement a disaster area because of the rapid snow melt due to rising temperatures, a quick thaw, and added rain. But they say 93 snow totals were higher.

Three days before the storm hit.

Ah, memories. We avoided power outages this time. But it did take several days to clean up and get public transportation and parking lots clear again. I can’t remember losing three days of work to a snow storm in my life.  Imagine, though how it was back at the beginning of the 20th century, before the days of snow plows and electricity.

My friend Brian Fanelli shared a poem on Facebook that I had forgotten all about. It was one of Robert Frost’s personification-of-nature pieces that got me thinking that Frost might have had some influence on the poetry of young William Stafford.  I’ll include below, the poem “Storm Fear” as read and introduced by Robert Frost’s daughter Leslie. But first, some visuals of what we’ve experienced the last few days, just to set the mood. You can check out a couple of Instagram videos here and here.

We started on Friday, March the 10th with just a small storm that was a prelude for what was to come late Monday night and keep us under its thumb for most of the week. Don’t get me wrong, despite the worry of giving myself a heart attack from shoveling out a plowed-in car, part of me enjoyed the trip back to childhood. We had food in the house and despite the kind of primal fears such impending storms evoke, as illustrated in Frost’s poem, in reality, we knew that we had neighbors close by and would not be cut off from civilization for long.

Storm Fear” by Robert Frost

Maybe next time we’ll look at a Stafford poem to see if we can find some trace of Frost in it. I’ll be sure to share some sunnier post, snowicane pictures.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Brian Dean Powers says:

    I liked the line: “Till even the comforting barn grows far away….” It’s almost as if the barn is granted some unexpected motion by the storm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, there’s a culmination of thought and action going on in that line.


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