Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate.

Today’s reader request from the past of this column comes from Shari Robinson of Steep Falls, who writes: “Longfellow’s ‘Snow-Flakes’ immediately and completely swept me into the magical stillness of a falling snow. I sent the gift to my busy, adult children to give them and my grandchildren a few moments of peace and beauty.”

Snow-Flakes

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Out of the bosom of the Air,

Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,

Over the woodlands brown and bare,

Over the harvest-fields forsaken,

Silent, and soft, and slow

Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take

Suddenly shape in some divine expression,

Even as the troubled heart doth make

In the white countenance confession,

The troubled sky reveals

The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,

Slowly in silent syllables recorded;

This is the secret of despair,

Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,

Now whispered and revealed

To wood and field.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. This poem is in the public domain. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc at [email protected] or (207) 228-8263.