Pablo sent in some commentary on Frost's poem:
Yesterday’s poem from Robert Frost reminds me of Mark Twain, who thought that the ice storm was a great American phenomenon that was unaccountably overlooked by great poets and painters:
“Here in London the other night I was talking with some Scotch and English friends, and I mentioned the ice-storm, using it as a figure - a figure which failed, for none of them had heard of the ice-storm. One gentleman, who was very familiar with American literature, said he had never seen it mentioned in any book. That is strange. And I, myself, was not able to say that I had seen it mentioned in a book; and yet the autumn foliage, with all other American scenery, has received full and competent attention.The oversight is strange, for in America the ice-storm is an event. And it is not an event which one is careless about. When it comes, the news flies from room to room in the house, there are bangings on the doors, and shoutings, "The ice-storm! the ice-storm!" and even the laziest sleepers throw off the covers and join the rush for the windows.”
“Mind, in this speech I have been trying merely to do honor to the New England weather -- no language could do it justice. But, after all, there is at least one or two things about that weather (or, if you please, effects produced by it) which we residents would not like to part with. If we hadn't our bewitching autumn foliage, we should still have to credit the weather with one feature which compensates for all its bullying vagaries -- the ice-storm: when a leafless tree is clothed with ice from the bottom to the top -- ice that is as bright and clear as crystal; when every bough and twig is strung with ice-beads, frozen dew-drops, and the whole tree sparkles cold and white, like the Shah of Persia's diamond plume. Then the wind waves the branches and the sun comes out and turns all those myriads of beads and drops to prisms that glow and burn and flash with all manner of colored fires, which change and change again with inconceivable rapidity from blue to red, from red to green, and green to gold -- the tree becomes a spraying fountain, a very explosion of dazzling jewels; and it stands there the acme, the climax, the supremest possibility in art or nature, of bewildering, intoxicating, intolerable magnificence. One cannot make the words too strong.”
As destructive as these storms can be, they create some of the most delicate, detailed winter beauty I've ever laid eyes on. Branches and leaves are enrobed in crystal. Sometimes the ice dangles like the sparkles on a chandelier if there was a thaw, then refreeze. Snow puddles on fir trees in a way that makes it look like it was painstakingly arranged there.