When I first heard this poem, it captured the excitement I felt the first time it snowed Christmas Day in England. It was like a whole new world had been born and presented itself with all the cheek of a newborn colt.
We were so excited about the snow, we blew past the presents under the tree and burst outside in only our bathrobes and slippers. “With sprinkling eyes and wind-cherried noses on spread frozen feet,” we explored our new tundra, “over the frozen foam of the powder and ice-cream hills . . . Now we were snowblind travellers lost on the hills and vast dewlapped dogs with flasks about their necks ambled and shambled up to us . . . We returned home through the poor streets, where only a few children fumbled with bare, red fingers in the wheel-rutted snow.”
I love listening to this now on Christmas day, as the turkey cooks and mince pies cool. Christmas fragrances fill the air and fuse with Thomas’s lyrical words, evoking that childlike excitement in me once more.