What a great time of year it is to bring up this subject. Temperatures are expected to plummet to -5 tonight. (that's -21 to you celcius folks.) John Greenleaf Whittier's poem, "Snowbound" evokes a vivid picture of what life was like in the early 19th century rural New England. The raging snowstorm outside seems to suggest a looming death which is negated by the family's nostalgia.With winter upon us it's time to feature Whitter's "bookend" poem to "Barefoot Boy." Whittier grew up on a farm in Haverhill, Massachusetts, now a city but back then a sleepy country town. Below I have excerpted a portion of "Snowbound." The poem can be found in it's entirety here.
I have my own snowbound memories. Only 15 miles from Whittier's home these photos show my childhood home. I can vividly remember trudging through this snow that was up to my waist. Of course I was a little one at the time, perhaps 5 or 6 years old. I never noticed this until now; those footsteps in the snow lead to who I believe are myself and my father at the front door. The last photo is me on top of a huge snow pile, that same day, at my grandparents house.
|Photos: Frances Peabody|