[Image no longer available]
Writing from Minnesota, this ibiblio staffer is struck by the contrast: Today is grey and brown, damp, and a balmy 37 degrees. Last year at this time, workers were shoveling out the Metrodome, whose roof collapsed under seventeen inches of snow.
Despite the costs and inconveniences, most Americans probably look forward to a white Christmas. Join us at ibiblio in welcoming and celebrating the colder months this year with a collection of winter tales and poems from Project Gutenberg.
The Pearl Story Book, stories and legends of winter, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, will bring those spirits of the solstice, of the holidays, of childhood memories and traditions, into your home, or onto your Kindle or iPad, wherever you may be.
As we hope for snow, enjoy this selection from Emerson, one of the many gems in this collection:
Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, and river, and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse at the garden’s end,
The sled and traveler stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, inclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.
Come, see the north wind’s masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, naught cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swanlike form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer’s lane from wall to wall,
Mauger the farmer’s sighs; and at the gate
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone—
Built in an age, the mad wind’s night work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson.