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13 responses to “Cold. So Cold.”

  1. This selection called to mind a piece by a Scots poet called Robin Robertson that I found a few years ago, and posted on my Barstool blog.

    The Park Drunk

    He opens his eyes to a hard frost,
    the morning’s soft amnesia of snow.

    The thorned stems of gorse
    are starred crystal; each bud
    like a candied fruit, its yellow
    picked out and lit
    by the low pulse
    of blood-orange
    riding in the eastern trees.

    What the snow has furred
    to silence, uniformity,
    frost has amplified, made singular;
    giving every form a sound,
    an edge, as if
    frost wants to know
    what snow tries to forget.

    And so he drinks for the winter,
    for the coming year,
    for all the beautiful tiny doors
    in their craquelure of frost;
    and he drinks
    like the snow falling, trying
    to close the biggest door of all.

  2. Winter in Hong Kong is a month or two of damp chill, no more. And spring doesn’t seem to happen at all; you just get summer unfolding very leisurely over the course of three months. In another five or six weeks, it might already be getting a little too fiercely warm on occasions, and soon after that the stifling humidity will roll in, making half the year insufferable. But this is a glorious time of year to be here: clear skies, no humidity, and the temperature in the low 70s every day.

    I’m down here intermittently over the next few months, but have to endure a couple more spells in freezing and smoggy north China – not looking forward to that at all.

  3. “Tell yourself/as it gets cold and gray falls from the air/
    that you will go on/walking, hearing/
    the same tune no matter where/you find yourself…”

    I’m sure you know by now that Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow today.

    And Bly. There is absolutely a privacy in a snowy night—or day. (At least in my mind.)

  4. Erratum: Well, I’m only just getting to learn about the annual cycle in Hong Kong. It seems the humidity can start cranking up again very early in the year, and February is often completely shrouded in mist/fog/smog. I was blessed with some idyllic weather here at the end of January, but my next visit in a couple of weeks is not looking nearly such an attractive prospect.

  5. 11pm at night, I just sat watching the view disappear. If you call it ‘sea mist’ it somehow sounds more exotic, but the air is such that you can’t see 50 yards at the moment.

    I’m still trying to go with ‘exotic’.

  6. Thanks yet again for the research there.

    I felt on first encountering this poem that I wanted to find out more – about the man and his work – but didn’t get around to it.

    I’m still not convinced that “snow tries to forget” really means anything, but there’s a resonance in the words – something which I hear even more in “each bud like a candied fruit” or “beautiful tiny doors”. This is one of those that didn’t do very much for me on first encounter, but I kept going back to it and liking it more each time.

  7. And I feel I have to complain about ReCaptcha – which is a) giving me undecipherable challenges, and b) taking me out of the thread when I do finally manage to get acknowledged.

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