Poetry Sunday: It sifts from leaden sieves by Emily Dickinson

(01/14: Oops! I thought I had already published this. Here ya go!)

No snow where I live here in Southeast Texas, but I remember the snows of my childhood and Emily Dickinson describes them perfectly.

It sifts from leaden sieves

by Emily Dickinson 

It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.

It makes an even face
Of mountain and of plain, —
Unbroken forehead from the east
Unto the east again.

It reaches to the fence,
It wraps it, rail by rail,
Till it is lost in fleeces;
It flings a crystal veil

On stump and stack and stem, —
The summer’s empty room,
Acres of seams where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them.

It ruffles wrists of posts,
As ankles of a queen, —
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.


  1. We are under snow squall warnings right now. We were walking in the mall this morning and when we came out we saw a squall had come and gone. The entire ground and everything else was wearing a blanket - a veil? of powdered snow. And now I just read this poem, and I never could have described it like this.

  2. That's some great snow imagery. We just got lots of new snow up in the mountains, but luckily only rain down in the Salt Lake Valley, so I get a break from shoveling for a few days. Because as pretty as snow is, I do hate shoveling it. ;D

    1. Yeah, shoveling is the worst. And as pretty as the new snow is, there's always the ugliness when it starts to melt, which in the South is pretty quickly.

  3. A poem filled with lovely imagery. Finally we have winter here; yesterday the high only made it to around minus eleven and I shovelled mountains of crisp white snow from my driveway while having an engaging conversation with “our” crows. Such a pleasure!

    1. Minus eleven - wow! Yes, I'd say winter has definitely arrived for you, David.

  4. Snow does smooth things out...at least, that has been my experience with snow (three times? four?) I delight in Dickinson---she never throws out a trite line or even a trite word.

    1. That's an excellent observation about Dickinson. Every word is carefully chosen and MEANS something.


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