Happy Christmas 2014!

Christmas is celebrated – or not – in different ways. For some, it is a time of plenty; for others, a time of want. But for everyone, Christmas is a time of reflection on what is past, present, and to come: a time of lamentation and a time of gifts. And then there is snow: beyond imagination, yet unforgettable.

To celebrate Christmas, the poem “Snow-flakes” by the American writer and linguist Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82) together with a wonderful landscape by the Russian painter Alexei Kondratyevich Savrasov (1830-97). Happy Christmas!

Savrasov “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.”

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