As we continue to experience the weight of winter weather here in Western Pennsylvania, my thoughts returned this morning to the Photo Poem series I wrote two years ago, inspired by the The Guardian‘s “Best Photographs of the Day.” Like the chap from Turkey in the first image, I have done my share of shoveling over the past week, though we’ve only received half of what he’s tackling. We’ve also had multiple sub-zero mornings the last few days, leading to groans from my students and my Ford E350 van. And yet in the midst of the bitter cold and heavy snow, there’s beauty to be found, just like we see on Dorset Hill in the final image. Be sure to click on each image in the gallery to better appreciate the work of the photographers. And don’t miss the lessons these images inspired. (All poems by Vincent H. Anastasi – 2019)
(Image 1) Psychoanalysis: A Tanka This shovel’s too small to clear away the dead weight of generations. Flake upon intricate flake piles up in the cold silence.
(Image 2) The Polar Vortex There’s a polar vortex Pulling much of the United States Into its empty center: The cold vacuum of Hell As Dante so aptly saw it. How many must die Before we learn To come in from the bitter cold That freezes the heart In the antagonistic maelstrom of hate?
(Image 3) On Dorset’s Hill Bedded down beneath the snow, To Dorset’s hills I gladly go And whither then, I cannot know. Somewhere on these cobbled streets A traveler I hope to meet And whither then, I cannot see. When I arrive upon the crest Of Gold Hill, I will take my rest And whither then, I only guess. Yes, all will climb this Shaftesb’ry road When winter drops its heavy load And then the time will come to go.