river road, north/south
30 degrees / snow
Even though I saw that snow showers were predicted for this morning, I wasn’t expecting it to be snowing today, or if it was, to only be the big flakes that fall but never land. Wrong. The snow started around 8 and hasn’t let up yet (at noon). The most irritating thing about the snow was that it was blowing in my face, even with the brim of my cap pulled way down. The most delightful? Maybe the sharp, quick snap of the crunching snow, or the way the not slippery but also not solid surface made me feel faster or more like I was flying then plodding, or how the rare pops of color — the yellowish-green crosswalk sign, the blue bike path sign, a runner’s pink hat, the hot pink and lime green stripe on another runner’s pants, the orange water jug on the side of the path set up by some running group — stood out against the relentless backdrop of white, or the cross-country skier! skiing on the path. A great run!
At the end of my run, right in front of my house, I heard the snow crunching and the birds chirping and I had to pull out my phone to record them. I made the mistake of holding the phone down at my side — is it a mistake? — and so the crunching sound is so loud that it’s distorted. It was loud, though. I remember passing another running and hearing her feet CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCHing!
Before I went out for a run, I read through the third page of Schuyler’s poem. So much of it is about color. I wanted to spend my run looking for color, and I did, at least some of the time, but I became focused on avoiding rough snow and making sure I noticed the river — open, wide, the snow looking like a white mist hovering above the water.
Colors I Remember Noticing
- a pale yellow flag in the snow
- a yellowish-green crosswalk sign
- blue biking and walking path signs
- a bright pink hat on a runner
- chartreuse running tights on a runner
- my purple jacket
- almost everything, white
- a dark gray strip of bare pavement
- running tights with a stripe of lime green and hot pink
- an orange water jug
Schuyler, Hymn of Life, page 3
Begins with Below Lee, ends with Or simply lying down to read. A lot of color. Decided to pick out only the color lines, except for one delightful one about birds that I couldn’t resist:
Created no illusion of lived-in-ness. But the periwinkles do, in beds
That flatten and are starred blue-violet, a retiring flower loved,
It would seem, of the dead, so often found where they congregate.
I’m unfamiliar with periwinkles, so I looked them up:
Tough, low-maintenance, and pest-free, Vinca minor (commonly known as periwinkle) has pretty broadleaf foliage and flowers that thrive in the sun or shade. It is also useful for providing ground cover and is known for its creeping habit. Periwinkle can come back every year as a perennial when planted in warmer climates but is an annual in cooler regions. Vinca minor vines most commonly put out a blue flower in spring, but the color can also be lavender, purple, or white.How to Grow and Care for Vinca Minor
Oh wow, I think I have these in my back yard! I love the little purple pops of color, breaking up the monotony of green. Usually I’m able to see them. And, are these flowers that I write about in an entry dated july 29, 2019 periwinkles?
Forgot to look for the river again today. Instead saw lots of green. A few slashes of light purple. What are those wildflowers? Green with purple all over the edge of the path.
Doubtful. I searched periwinkles and Mississippi River Gorge and vinca minor and Mississippi River Gorge and nothing came up.
Colors itself rosily behind gray-black and the rain falls through
The basketball hoop on a garage, streaking its backboard with further
Trails of rust, a lovely color to set with periwinkle violet-blue.
A rosy sky behind gray-black clouds? Not pure reddish-pink or pinkish-red but the hint of it behind something darker. The rust — did I see rust anywhere on my run? I don’t think so.
in the west appear streaks of different green
So under lilacs unleaved/ Lie a clump of snowdrops
What are snowdrops, and can I find them here in Minneapolis? Yes! But not today.
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum gardeners and I are on the lookout each March for the first snowdrop flowers, the first perennial garden plant to bloom and a marker of the beginning of the growing season.
A few of the white, bell-like flowers opened March 16 last year, announcing the end of winter.
In botanical and gardening books, snowdrops are described as hardy bulbs with nodding flowers that bloom, while lingering patches of snow are still seen.Nature Notes: Snowdrops (from 2016)
I think I’ve seen them in my backyard in very early spring. I’ll have to look out for them at the end of this month or in April.
and one purple crocus. Purple. A polka-dotted
Color little girls are fond of: “See my new dress!” and she twirls
On one foot. Then, crossed, bursts into tears.
Purple. A polka-dotted Color? Is there a crocus that is purple with polka dots, or is he suggesting that like polka-dots, purple is a color that delights little girls? I don’t like his emotionally erratic little girl image.
Smiles and rain, like
These passing days in which buds swell, unseen as yet, waiting
For the elms to color their further out most twigs,
The early buds on the tips of tree twigs! I notice these all winter, waiting for them to turn green.
only the willow
When I lived much closer to Minnehaha Creek, I would often walk by a beautiful willow tree. Several years ago, it was cut down. It has appeared in a few of my early poem fragments. I remember how it looked yellow in the spring. What a beautiful tree! Now, when I think of willow trees, I mostly think of Carl Phillips (see the end of this log entry).
Days need birds and so they come, a flock of ducks, and a bunch of
Small fluffy unnamed balls that hide in hedges and make a racket.
These days need birds. Yes! I love that line, and the sentiment. Also, the small, fluffy unnamed balls that hide in hedges. No color mentioned; I just wanted to make note of this great bit. I can see a soft, intense, egg yellow of fluff.
It is more
Mysterious than that, pierced by blue
I think the pierced by blue is a reference to the color that cuts through the gloom of a rainy, cloudy day.
I read somewhere that in addition to writing poetry, James Schuyler was an art critic. I would imagine that all the time he spent studying various paintings has influenced how he sees, understands, is able to describe color. He’s a great color poet.