Dust of Snow

Two Snowflakes

Dust of Snow

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
of a day I had rued.

— Robert Frost (1923)

After an unrelenting series of winter-gray days, this quiet poem lifted my heart and sent me outside, in search of my own dusting of snow.

We invite you to spend time in contemplation with this poem by Robert Frost. Then join in the conversation with your own poetic response.

You can enter into conversation with this text by adding your haiku response below.

About Margaret D. McGee


  1. through winter gray
    tree frogs chirrup, chirrup
    answering back

  2. Sharon Nowicki says:

    Flock of Robins
    feasting on winter apples
    brings orchard to life

  3. From my friend Marybeth:

    Snow covers the grass
    My dog leaps with excitement
    Natures simple gift

    • I like all the different gifts in this poem: the gift of beauty in the snow, and of the dog’s excitement, and most especially that mysterious and amazing gift, that the joy of others can reach into my own heart. It’s amazing how much fun I get from walking the dog on a snowy morning! Thanks, Marybeth.

  4. Brad Offutt says:

    Some fun, with apologies to Robert Frost and the crow –

    No crow would come to our maple tree
    to shake down her load of snow,
    so I went out to pole her free;
    branches might break, you know.

    Each branch I shook let go its weight
    and sprang up toward the sky,
    while in ever snowier state
    beneath the tree stood I.

    The job’s well done; I do not rue it,
    but wish I’d worn a hat to do it.

  5. Janet Stanwyck says:

    Gray sky, chilling wind
    Bushtits fly to hanging suet
    Instant mood repair.

  6. James Irving Mann says:

    The Rotunda blushes;
    Snow and Sunlight kiss.
    Jefferson smiles!

    • Though personification is usually avoided literary haiku, I have to admit to being charmed by all the blushing and kissing and smiling going on in these supposedly-inanimate objects. Thank you, James, for putting a smile on my lips as well as TJ’s.

    • Brad Offutt says:

      James, is it the Rotunda in Charlottesville that’s blushing? I love the soft mental image you’ve given me, especially since I well remember the nasty ice that can underlie snow in central Virginia. And Jefferson deserves his smile; he got precious little joy out of the beauty and order he helped create.

  7. James Irving Mann says:

    Yes, Brad, I live in Charlottesville, and if anyone has ever seen the sunlight shine in the snow on the Rotunda, you would know why Mr. Jefferson would smile.