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Joyce Kilmer - The Snowman in the Yard

(For Thomas Augustine Daly)

The Judge's house has a splendid porch, with pillars 
and steps of stone,
And the Judge has a lovely flowering hedge that came from across 
the seas;
In the Hales' garage you could put my house and everything I own,
And the Hales have a lawn like an emerald and a row of poplar trees.
Now I have only a little house, and only a little 
lot,
And only a few square yards of lawn, with dandelions starred;
But when Winter comes, I have something there
that the Judge and the Hales have not,
And it's better worth having than all their wealth --
it's a snowman in the yard.
The Judge's money brings architects to make his 
mansion fair;
The Hales have seven gardeners to make their roses grow;
The Judge can get his trees from Spain and France and everywhere,
And raise his orchids under glass in the midst of all the snow.
But I have something no architect or gardener ever 
made,
A thing that is shaped by the busy touch of little mittened hands:
And the Judge would give up his lonely estate, where the level snow 
is laid
For the tiny house with the trampled yard,
the yard where the snowman stands.
They say that after Adam and Eve were driven away 
in tears
To toil and suffer their life-time through,
because of the sin they sinned,
The Lord made Winter to punish them for half their exiled years,
To chill their blood with the snow, and pierce
their flesh with the icy wind.
But we who inherit the primal curse, and labour 
for our bread,
Have yet, thank God, the gift of Home, though Eden's gate is barred:
And through the Winter's crystal veil, Love's roses blossom red,
For him who lives in a house that has a snowman in the yard.

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Added: Aug 7 2004 | Viewed: 10024 times | Comments and analysis of The Snowman in the Yard by Joyce Kilmer Comments (2)

The Snowman in the Yard - Comments and Information

Poet: Joyce Kilmer
Poem: 3. The Snowman in the Yard
Volume: Main Street and Other Poems
Year: Published/Written in 1917
Poem of the Day: May 21 2007

Comment 2 of 2, added on May 31st, 2013 at 8:06 PM.
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Imran from Barbados
Comment 1 of 2, added on July 21st, 2010 at 12:29 AM.
pause in the day's occupation to reflect of Joyce Kilmer's exquisite sensitivity -and snow!

In the heat of Summer,
To think of Snow,
Is such an unlikely thing.
But even more So
-Than Snow,
Is the Man made low
Because of its Beauty
That shall not be 4got.

Bernadette from United States

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