Tuesday, January 7, 2020

"The Boy at the Window" - Richard Wilbur (1952)

This is another of my favorite poems. The stark imagery of the outdoors; as endured by the Snowman; juxtaposed against the warmth and love which the boy experiences indoors; breaks my heart each time I read it.

And the sympathy of the snowman as he melts is truly amazing. Being born to die he has no fears at all, while the boy remains trapped, fearing the loss of the things which he only thinks he possesses; but which in reality possess him. (Photo of Sue and her snowman in 2017.)

"The Boy at the Window" - Richard Wilbur

Seeing the snowman standing all alone
In dusk and cold is more than he can bear.
The small boy weeps to hear the wind prepare
A night of gnashings and enormous moan.

His tearful sight can hardly reach to where
The pale faced figure with bitumen eyes
Returns him such a godforsaken stare
As outcast Adam gave to Paradise.

The man of snow is, nonetheless, content
Having no wish to go inside and die.
Still, he is moved to
see the youngster cry.

Though water is his element,
He melts enough to drop from one soft eye
A trickle of the purest rain, a tear
For the child at the bright pane surrounded by
Such warmth, such light, such love,
and so much fear.