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Explicit Snow – by Norman MacCaig

First snow is never all the snows there were
Come back again, but novel in the sun
As though a newness had but just begun.

It does not fall as rain does from nowhere
Or from that cloud spinnakered on the blue,
But from a place we feel we could go to.

As a great actor steps, not from the wings,
But from the play’s extension — all he does
Is move to the seen from the mysterious —

And his performance is the first of all —
The snow falls from its implications and
Stages pure newness on the uncurtained land.

And the hill we’ve looked out of existence comes
Vivid in its own language; and this tree
Stands self-explained, its own soliloquy.


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