The Quote Garden ™
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Quotations about Snow
The thin snow now driving from the north and lodging on my coat consists of those beautiful star crystals... perfect little wheels with six spokes, without a tire... How full of the creative genius is the air in which these are generated! I should hardly admire more, if real stars fell and lodged on my coat. Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity, so that not a snow-flake escapes its fashioning hand. ~Henry David Thoreau, journal, 1856 January 5th
Snowflakes are kisses from heaven. ~Author unknown
The sun was down behind the snow-covered hills across the ice, and chilly gusts swept through the trees. Fine snow was sifting from the loaded branches and riding the wind. ~Gerald Raftery (1905–1986), Gray Lance, 1950
The snow is sparkling like a million little suns. ~Lama Willa Miller
Look up at the miracle of the falling snow, — the air a dizzy maze of whirling, eddying flakes, noiselessly transforming the world, the exquisite crystals dropping in ditch and gutter, and disguising in the same suit of spotless livery all objects upon which they fall. ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866
...snow was dropping heavily again, thick white flakes so big that their undersides carried shadows. ~Bill Bryson, The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America, 1989
When snow falls, nature listens. ~Antoinette van Kleeff
Snowmen fall from heaven — unassembled. ~Author unknown
Brick: Isn't it amazing how each snowflake is different?
Sue: I know. It took me, like, three hours to cut out ten, and God has to do, like, fifty billion. You can't tell me that's not a miracle.
~The Middle, "A Christmas Gift," 2011, written by Jana Hunter & Mitch Hunter [S3, E11]
When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels. ~Author unknown
Snow and adolescence are the only problems we can think of that disappear if you ignore them long enough. ~Changing Times, 1954
Twilight comes drearily,
Snow flakes fall thickly
The house-roofs upon;
The wind hath a tale to tell,
Moaning so sad,
Of the hungry and houseless
Who never are glad.
O list to its wailing,
In country and town,
When the day beam is paling
And the snow storm comes down!
~Henry Osborne, "What the Snow-storm Sayeth," Prose & Rhyme, 1853
Storm flakes were scroll-leaved flowers, lily showers — sweet heaven was astrew in them. ~Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889)
Along the seaboard but little snow fell: it was, to use an expressive Gaelic phrase, no more than a spìonadh sneachd a slugan an t’ soirbheis, a phrase untranslateable with any literalness of rendering, but which means that the snowflakes came reluctantly, and as if with difficulty and against their will, from out the æsophagus of the howling storm... ~"Nether-Lochaber," Inverness Courier, 1881
Where does the white go when the snow melts? ~Hugh Kieffer
The blowing snow held an invitation that I couldn't resist. I hate the snow, and I love it. So I bundled up and went for a walk that ended in the university library. ~Thea Alexander, 2150 A.D., 1976
Got snow drifts? Think of all the magical snowmen buried beneath, waiting for release. ~Dr. SunWolf, tweet, 2015, professorsunwolf.com
Man is said to want but little here below,
And I have an idea that what he wants littlest of is snow...
~Ogden Nash (1902–1971), "Jangle Bells"
First hither and thither a feathery flake,
Softly and softly they winnow and shake;
And then in light handsful 'tis sifted and scattered,
And then comes a burst, like a cloud that is shattered;
Then—steady and fast and still faster it falleth...
~J.J. Britton (1832–1913), "Snow"
Do you hear the snow against the windowpanes, Kitty? How nice and soft it sounds! Just as if some one was kissing the window all over outside. I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, 'Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.' And when they wake up in the summer, Kitty, they dress themselves all in green, and dance about—whenever the wind blows... ~Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, And What Alice Found There
The little fox lifted his narrow nose out of the burrow... to help dig up through the snow and find Spring. ~Frances Frost, Little Fox, 1952
Swiftly the blizzard stretched a frozen arm
From out the hollow night—
Stripping the world of all her scarlet pomp,
And muffling her in white.
Dead white the hills; dead white the soundless plain;
Dead white the blizzard's breath—
Heavy with hoar that touched each woodland thing
With a white and silent death.
~Lew Sarett, "October Snow," The Box of God, 1922
In what bold relief stand out the lives of all walkers of the snow! The snow is a great tell-tale, and blabs as effectually as it obliterates. I go into the woods, and know all that has happened. I cross the fields, and if only a mouse has visited his neighbor, the fact is chronicled. ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866
The sullen clouds are hanging down
Right over the town, and I think
That the sleet and snow have made my roof
As slick as a skating rink.
~Jean Wright, "A Fool on a Roof: Et in Arcadia Ego"
Everything looked so clean and transformed, so fresh-start. All ramshackle aspects of the neighborhood's houses and barns had disappeared under white roofs against white fields. ~Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behavior, 2012
...I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow...
What could be more lovely than a winter night such as this, when the moon shines out of a cloudless sky upon the glittering, fresh-fallen snow? Beauty without colour seems somehow to belong to another world. ~Murasaki Shikibu (c.978–c.1014), The Tale of Genji: A Wreath of Cloud, translated from the Japanese by Arthur Waley, 1927
The goddess of the winter night, somewhere above the sea,
Is strewing jeweled snowflakes from the windward to the lee...
~J. F. Dahlgren, "Christmas," 1923
What quaint seduction lurks within the snow. ~Frances M. Frost, "Poem for Barrenness," Hemlock Wall, 1929
The two women walked cautiously over the path of hardened snow, planting their feet firmly and carefully.... In winter the very ground seemed to reach up and grab the elderly, yanking them to earth as though hungry for them.... Best to take it slow. ~Louise Penny, Bury Your Dead, 2011
Then, comes the snow in its beauty,
Each flake a pattern of lace
That floats in the air, so gently;
Then, finds its own, special place.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "God is an Artist of Nature," 1940s
Snow-flakes! Yes, it is true, in accordance with the child-thought, you come floating so gently down from Heaven as if afraid of hurting the wintry earth.... Ye gentle, fleecy things!... Snow-flakes! ~A.S. Macduff, "The Message of the Snow-Flakes," in The Sunday Magazine (London), 1884
Snow is so light and so bright and so fluffy,
Unless you must shovel it — then it's a toughy!
~Robert Orben, 2400 Jokes to Brighten Your Speeches, 1984
I used to stare up at the sky trying to see where the snowflakes were born. I could do it for hours. Well, minutes. But it was always the waiting that was the most fun. ~Author unknown, from a package of Starbucks coffee, 2010
Snow is all right while it is snowing;
It is like inebriation because it is very pleasing when it is coming, but very unpleasing when it is going...
~Ogden Nash (1902–1971), "Jangle Bells"
...snowflakes sailing down from a dove-grey sky... ~Barbra Ring, Før kulden kommer, 1915, translated from the Norwegian by W. Emmé, Into the Dark, 1923
Oh, what is as lovely as flakes of snow
That float through the air as the wind doth blow?!
They settle to earth, these beautiful flakes,
On hilltops and valleys, rivers and lakes...
Out in the country, where the snow stays white,
It glistens in beauty, a lovely sight!
While the city streets are soon quite a mess
Of slush and ice; this we have to confess!
But I, dearly, love each small flake of snow
That brings glad memories; and this I know:
These flakes, so perfect, so pure and so white,
Prove to us God's perfection and His might!
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Snow" (1940s)
Are ye the ghosts of fallen leaves,
O flakes of snow,
For which, through naked trees, the winds
Or are ye angels, bearing home
The host unseen
Of truant spirits, to be clad
Again in green?
~John B. Tabb, "Phantoms"
Blackened skeleton arms of wood by the wayside pointed upward to the convent, as if the ghosts of former travellers, overwhelmed by the snow, haunted the scene of their distress. Icicle-hung caves and cellars built for refuges from sudden storms, were like so many whispers of the perils of the place; never-resting wreaths and mazes of mist wandered about, hunted by a moaning wind; and snow, the besetting danger of the mountain, against which all its defences were taken, drifted sharply down. ~Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit, 1857
Is like hammers of silence...
~Alice Mackenzie Swaim, "Hammers of Silence," Crickets Are Crying Autumn, 1960
A raw north wind sends patches of cloud and blue sky racing overhead, with a few light snow flurries. ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), @Raqhun, tweet, 2009
Snow of Winter! some may tell
What a merry guest thou art,
But to me each flake that fell
Fell and froze upon my heart.
~Minna Irving, "The Haunted Heart," Songs of a Haunted Heart, 1888
As I went forth, on my ten toes, a snowball hit me on the nose, and knocked that organ out of place, a-spreading it all o'er my face. "My blessing on the merry boys," I cried, "and on their harmless joys! I'd gladly sacrifice a nose, out here among the virgin snows, to see the children glad and gay, as I was on a bygone day. If I had noses by the score, I'd see them all bunged up and sore, if that would make the children glad, and this gray world less grim and sad." And while I spoke these words of cheer, a snowball hit me in the ear. It jarred my spinal column loose, and addled all my vital juice. I leaned against a fence and said, "What though that snowball split my head? Some boy was filled with utter glee, when he let drive that shot at me, and if my ruined dome of thought, some comfort to a kid has brought, it surely does not ache in vain; not futile is its grist of pain." And as I feebly tottered by, a snowball hit me in the eye. ~Walt Mason (1862–1939), "Childish Joys"
...a rolling snowball gathers no sparks... ~E.E. Cummings, "Ballad of an Intellectual," 1932
I wish that you could have seen the edge of the snow-cloud which hovered, oh, so soothingly, down to the grand Pilot Peak brows, discharging its heaven-begotten snows with such unmistakable gentleness and moving, perhaps with conscious love from pine to pine as if bestowing separate and independent blessings upon each. In a few hours we climbed under and into this glorious storm-cloud. What a harvest of crystal flowers, and what wind songs were gathered from the spirey firs and the long fringy arms of the Lambert pine. ~John Muir, from letter to Jeanne Carr, written from Yosemite, circa early spring 1871
The first fall of snow is not only an event but it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up to find yourself in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, then where is it to be found? ~J. B. Priestley (1894–1984), "First Snow," Apes and Angels, 1928
I'll know I am growing old when I no longer thrill to the first snow of the season. ~Lady Bird Johnson (1912–2007)
Thank goodness for the first snow, it was a reminder — no matter how old you became and how much you'd seen, things could still be new if you were willing to believe they still mattered. ~Candace Bushnell, Lipstick Jungle, 2005
I suppose it all started with the snow. You see, it was a very special kind of snow — a snow to make the happy happier and the giddy even giddier... for it was the first snow of the season. And as any child can tell you, there's a certain magic to the very first snow, especially when it falls on the day before Christmas. For when the first snow is also a Christmas snow, well, something wonderful is bound to happen. ~Romeo Muller, Frosty the Snowman, 1969
Outside the wind, wilder suddenly,
Whirled the first snow of the year; danced
Round and round with it, coming closer
And closer, peppering the panes; now here she was...
~Mark Van Doren (1894–1972), "The First Snow of the Year"
He brewed his tea in a blue china pot, poured it into a chipped white cup with forget-me-nots on the handle, and dropped in a dollop of honey and of cream. He sat by the window, cup in hand, watching the first snow fall. "I am," he sighed deeply, "contented as a clam. I am a most happy man." ~Ethel Pochocki (1925–2010), Wildflower Tea, 1993
Tonight, as I opened my window
And looked at the far away sky,
I breathed in the air, cold and frosty,
And gazed at the stars up so high.
And, then, I was suddenly conscious
That snowflakes were swirling around—
The very first snow of the season!—
Fast falling, without any sound.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "The First Snow of the Season," 1940s
Is on my face
Like the first snow
On bewildered grass—
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "Songs of a Girl: XI," Youth Riding, 1919
The snow had begun in the gloaming,
And busily all the night
Had been heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white...
~James Russell Lowell (1819–1891), "The First Snow-Fall," 1847 [If you ever get a chance, read this poem in its entirety. It's a real goose-bumping heart-tugger. –tg]
This forenoon it snowed pretty hard for some hours, the first snow of any consequence thus far. I go out at 2½ P.M. just as it ceases. Now is the time before the wind rises, or the sun has shone, to go forth and see the snow on the trees. The clouds have lifted somewhat, but are still spitting snow a little. The snow has fallen so gently that it forms an upright wall on the slenderest twig. The agreeable maze which the branches make is more obvious than ever, and every twig thus laden is as still as the hillside itself. The pitch pines are covered with soft globular masses. The effect of the snow is to press down the forest, confound it with the grasses, and create a new surface to the earth above, shutting us in with it, and we go along somewhat like moles through our galleries. The sight of the pure and trackless road, with branches and trees supporting snowy burdens bending over it on each side, would tempt us to begin life again. The snow lies handsomely on the shrub-oaks, like a coarse braiding in the air. They have so many small and zigzag twigs. ~Henry David Thoreau, journal, 1853 December 26th [a little altered –tg]
published 2000 Apr 24
revised 2017, 2021, 2022
last saved 2023 Dec 2