Monday, January 4, 2010

Snow Journeys

The Storm
by: Alcaeus (7th-6th century B.C.)
translated by John Hermann Merivale (1779-1844)

Jove descends in sleet and snow,
Howls the vexed and angry deep;
Every storm forgets to flow,
Bound in winter's icy sleep,
Ocean wave and forest hoar
To the blast responsive roar.

Drive the tempest from your door,
Blaze on blaze your hearthstone piling,
And unmeasured goblets pour
Brimful, high with nectar smiling.
Then, beneath your poet's head
Be a downy pillow spread.

Good advice! Stay warm, friends.


Lainie said...

Granny Sue,
Thanks so much for taking me with you in your adventures. I so enjoy your photos and the stories to go along with them. Keep the good stuff going!

Nance said...

I do love that first photo. Well, okay . . . the second one too. AND the poetry. Thanks so much!

Rowan said...

A lovely poem and very apt pictures to go with it. The ancient classical poets wrote some wonderful things both poetry and prose. Have you ever read The Frogs or The Wasps by Aristophanes? They are very funny even after 2000 years!

Tipper said...

Nice as always : ) We've been staying close by the fire too-but I do wish we had some of your snow.

Susan at Stony River said...

Two gorgeous winter pictures! I love winter's beauty but honestly prefer the fireside.

Granny Sue said...

Lainie--it's what makes blogging worth doing--readers who enjoy sharing my journeys! Thank you for coming along.

Granny Sue said...

Nance, that fireplace is my favorite place right now--when I'm not looking out the door at what winter has done. I never seem to get enough of looking at snow. Not being out in it, mind! I get my fill of that pretty quickly!

Granny Sue said...

I have never read the classical poets, Rowan and I see I've missed something. Of course, this was a translation so I wonder how close it is to the real thing? Even so, I really like the use of language, so I think I like the translator too.

Granny Sue said...

Tipper, I can't believe you don't have snow too! How did that happen? My son and his family came home from Florida yesterday (poor people!) and I thought they said it was snowing in NC. Maybe not your area, though.

Granny Sue said...

Well, Susan, I have to agree--best is being in by the fire looking out at the snow!

Nance said...

Granny Sue. We have had exceptional snow here in Iowa; it reminds us of our childhood years in the 50s.

I, too, find myself standing at window and door, admiring the AMOUNT and the formation of the drifted snow. It is beautiful. It is stunning! Yet I long for Spring and summer.

Granny Sue said...

Nance, I'm getting out seed catalogs tonight. That will bring the garden back to me, if only in my imagination. It's still snowing, although it's just piddly little bits, half-inch or inch at a time, but it continues to pile up. Quite a winter we're having.

Markin said...

Just following up on Rowan's comment -- and apologies for my lack of brevity: It was the spring of 1981. I'd been in Greece for a few months, doing on-site research for my dissertation, and seeing all those ancient ruins, places I'd spent most of a lifetime reading about, was one of the most wonderful experiences I'd ever had ... but Olympia was special. Olympia was magic. Olympia was one of the focal points of my work. I knew that place, almost stone by stone, could dream it from all those site reports I'd read over the years. Now, at last, I was actually standing in the middle of that fabled place. I could see clearly what it had once been like: the glittering bronze statues, the gaudy-painted temples, the dazzle of spectators and priests and athletes ... and I could see, too, physically before me, the sad remnants of that ancient glory: dull and pitted stone fragments scattered among the tall weeds, with a few bored tourists poking about dutifully but desultorily. And the full emotional impact hit me, the full pain of knowing what had been lost and would not come again. I wept, I could not help it.

Not wanting to be seen, I moved to the far edge of the site, over where the river Kladeos still flows ... and there I heard the most astounding and startling sound, high pitched and persistent and repeating over and over and over. I paused, perplexed. Then tears turned into laughter as I recognized what I was hearing.

Rowan, do you remember the chorus of frogs in the Aristophanes? I am here to tell you that Greek frogs, in the spring time, over two millennia after that play was written, actually do say: brek ek ek ex, koax koax! Aristophanes transcribed their song perfectly.

Granny Sue, those are wonderful photographs, thank you.

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