Friday, March 28, 2014

Poem of the Day: "Snow" by David Berman

"Snow" by David Berman is the Songs of Eretz Poem of the Day for March 28, 2014.  A link to the poem may be found here:  http://www.poetrysoup.com/famous/poem/1729/snow.

David Berman (b. 1967) (pictured), poet, cartoonist, and gentleman songster, is best known for his involvement with the indie rock bands "Pavement" and "Silver Jews."  He has been a teacher at the University of Massachusetts.  Reference to this and additional biographical information may be found here:  http://www.poetrysoup.com/biography/david_berman.


"Snow" is arranged in sixteen lines of irregular free verse.  Many stanzas are only a single line long, and the longest are tercets.  Perhaps this arrangement was used to indicate breaks in the narrative, or perhaps it represents the distracted thoughts of the speaker.

Mr. Berman captures a universal moment in the experience of the interaction between older and younger brothers in childhood.  An off-hand remark on the part of the older brother disturbs the younger brother, who takes his older, wiser brother's comment at face value.  The younger brother attempts to integrate the new information into his world view by asking clarifying questions, but the answers only lead to more questions.  The off-hand remark "snowballs" out of control.

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