When I see snow falling, however gently, a part of my mind disconnects and it feels like the world is suddenly more peaceful. Today (which is already auspicious for me, at least) I am given a gift by the flakes landing softly on the fallen leaves.
It is going to snow in a few days. I remember
This time last year. My heart, O how it bled!
Had I been asked: “What ails thee?” I should have said:
“Nothing. Leave me alone. It is December.”
O those bad thoughts! I had no good of them,
This time last year when heavy snow was cloaking
The world outside. And now as then I am smoking
A pipe of briar-wood with an amber stem.
And still my old oak chest of drawers smells good.
But I was foolish, for these things can never
Be changed, and they do only pose as clever
Who drives away the things bred in their blood.
Why do we think, and why, like the bees’ humming,
Must these our tongues be talking? We understand
Kisses and tears although they speak not, and
Sweeter than sweet words is a comrade’s coming.
The stars have been baptized by name and class
Although they need it not, and figures showing
That beautiful comets through the darkness going
Will pass through light will force them not to pass.
Where is last year’s distress? My memory fails me,
What weeds of woe were in this heart full-grown.
I should answer: “It is nothing. Leave me alone,”
If someone in my chamber asked: “What ails thee?”
Francis Jammes (trans. by Jethro Bithell)