More Snow

Snowing. It is snowing. It’s snowing. I don’t have to say, “It’s snowing out,” because it snows out, not in. You’d never say, “It’s snowing in.” The snow snows like the rain rains. Snowing means snowflakes falling. Have you ever seen or heard those many words for “snow” that Eskimos are supposed to use? Wikipedia reports that the claim is more of a tall tale than a fact, although there are different Inuit words for snow falling or drifting or piled up. Our English “snow” comes from Old English “snaw” and Germanic “snaiwaz,” with a root running back to Latin’s “nivatus” (cooled by snow) and “nix” (snow), according to the American Heritage Dictionary.

More AHD: snow, Snow, snowball, snowbank, snowbelt, Snowbelt, snowberry, snowbird, snow blindness, snowblink, snowblower, snowboard, snowbound, snow bunting, snowbush, snowcap, snow cone, snow cover, Snowden, snowdrift, snowdrop, snowdrop tree, snowfall, snow fence, snowfield, snowflake, snow goose, snow-in-summer, snow job, snow leopard, snow line, snowmaker, snowmaking, snowman, Snowmass Mountain, snowmelt, snowmobile, snow mold, snow-on-the-mountain, snowpack, snow pea, snow pellet, snow plant, snowplow, snowshoe, snowshoe hare, snowslide, snowstorm, snowsuit, snow thrower, snow tire, snow-white.

“. . . And although everything fell apart later, that night we all walked back from the dance, voices ringing in the frozen air. On New Boston Road, moon-bright snowfields lit the runway to home. I heard you’re married, living elsewhere—Washington, China? I’m writing to prove I’m not just living in the past. We both have the power to call a reunion and would share the distance prize.” [PM, from “Snowfields at Midnight” in “Strong Place: Poems ’74-’84”]



Bowls of blue plums in the snow.

A potato freighter plows through frosty aqua.

Lobster boats are fierce with icicles.

Heavy caskets of winter pile up.

The furnace roars, eating apple wood.

Jackets and boots are by the door,

Canning jars crowd the cellar,

And everywhere the gulls holler.

—Paul Marion (c), first published in The Carolina Quarterly, Fall 1982 (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

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