Louis MacNeice (1907-1963) was one of Northern Ireland best-known poets, and an exciting radio playwright and producer in the early days of BBC drama. A friend posted this poem of his today on social media – and it’s too good not to share. If you have snow today outside your window – well, perhaps this will make even more sense to you, and you can enjoy the poem’s sense of colour, distinctive aloud light, smell and taste.
SNOW BY LOUIS MACNEICE
The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.
World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.
And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes –
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands –
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.
You can hear the poem read aloud (not by its writer) here.
(both poem and reading were found at The Poetry Exchange website).