The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Tangos

by Tamara Lee

There aren’t 100 Inuit words for snow.

I’m a little disappointed to learn this, if only because I rather like the poetic possibilities of that truth. While the bulk of the country is immersed in aput (Inuit for 'a blanket of snow'), we here on the wet coast have been experiencing if not hundreds, at least dozens of versions of rain, the subtleties of which can only be determined by a longstanding local.

Those of you socked-in by your latest slugfest with Winter probably can’t agree, but I feel a wee longing for your snow sometimes, when I look at our long term forecast and see this:

Wet flurries
Sleet
Showers
Periods of rain
Chance of showers
Rain
Drizzle
Rain mixed with snow
Snow mixed with rain

Perhaps there’s a poet on staff at Environment Canada; even the last two lines suggest an inverted couplet.

And something about the tone of this concrete poem sent me in search of a short film I happened on recently, by Hannu Neiminen, who’s crafted a beautiful melancholic blend of Finnish winter, dank pubs and tango in “Kammos Tango”.

Sometimes all there's left to do is watch winter dance.


(Images: top, polar tango; bottom, kammos tango still)

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anne C. said...

I can understand wanting snow. There is a much more accepting attitude towards the second big storm of the season. It just feels as though we are starting Christmas a week early.

Mon Dec 17, 07:24:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger MelBell said...

Yesterday's snowfall was quite pretty. I do like snow, as long as I don't have to drive through it.

Mon Dec 17, 09:13:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

The sun is peaking through the clouds right now in Victoria. I'm not missing the snow at all. The forecast is for us to get a bit of the white stuff on New Year's Eve,though.

Mon Dec 17, 01:11:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Sorry. The sun is peeking. Oil is peaking.

Mon Dec 17, 01:11:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger T. Lee said...

Well, we do have a lot of snow on the local mountains, so those in North & West Vancouver will have a white slushy Christmas. I'm waiting on our big one; it'll come. I hope. Then I can be all smug about working from home ;)

Mon Dec 17, 03:36:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Two storms so far and we're already at half our average for the winter. Much more snow and cold forcasted for the actual winter.

Mon Dec 17, 10:46:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Chumplet said...

I grumbled and sniffled through an hour of shovelling last night, but I rather enjoyed the sound of muffled wind and the fact that I was bundled up and warm, except for my ass.

When we finished, I had an urge to make a snow angel, but I resisted such insanity and went inside to thaw out my butt.

If I had the good car, I wouldn't mind driving, but I'm stuck with the lousy Escort wagon that slithers and fishtails all over the road, even with sandbags in the back.

Mon Dec 17, 11:23:00 pm GMT-5  

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