Friday, January 29, 2010

How to Forecast the Weather

Another farmer poet ( the other
one being Wendell Berry), Ted
Kooser, recent US Poet Laureate
has written a poem about
forecasting the weather. I thought
of this poem as I wrote the next
blog about waiting on the weather.
Listen here to him reading.
You know how special it is to
hear a poet read their own work.
Imagine hearing Shakespeare
or Donne or Keats reading theirs.
Imagine that beauty. Use it in
Nature Notebooks or copy books
if you homeschool.

From Ted:
There's a lot of folklore about the weather. I made this poem out of snatches of folklore that I've picked up over the years.


Rain always follow the cattle
sniffing the air and huddling
in fields with their heads to the lee.
You will know that the weather is changing
when your sheep leave the pasture
too slowly, and your dogs lie about
and look tired; when the cat
turns her back to the fire,
washing her face, and the pigs
wallow in litter; cocks will be crowing
at unusual hours, flapping their wings;
hens will chant; when your ducks
and your geese are too noisy,
and the pigeons are washing themselves;
when the peacocks squall loudly
from the tops of the trees,
when the guinea fowl grates;
when sparrows chip loudly
and fuss in the roadway, and when swallows
fly low, skimming the earth;
when the carrion crow
croaks to himself, and wild fowl
dip and wash, and when moles
throw up hills with great fervor;
when toads creep out in numbers;
when frogs croak; when bats
enter the houses; when birds
begin to seek shelter,
and the robin approaches your house;
when the swan flies at the wind,
and your bees leave the hive;
when ants carry their eggs to and fro,
and flies bite, and the earthworm
is seen on the surface of things.


podso said...

You could add to this list, babies being born. Always when the weather changes, or the moon is full.

Bonnie said...

Yes, with a full moon.