The Snow Falls (After Su Tung-P’o), George Freek

Dale Champlin, Skull with Morpho Butterflies, Collage, 2021

THE SNOW FALLS (After Su Tung-P’o)


The leaves drift over
my back patio. They pile
up like the years. My wife
swept them away, but
it did no good. At crack
of dawn, next day,
they always came back.
That is nature’s way.
My wife is now in her grave.
Those hateful leaves
she fought so fiercely
to keep away,
are now here to stay.

George Freek


Review by Paul Willis

This poem is literally haunting.  The leaves that the speaker’s wife used to rake from the patio are now piling up after her death.  It is interesting, however, that the title invokes snow, not leaves.  “Those hateful leaves” must feel cold and life-leaching, like snow.


Review by Erin Wilson

In “The Snow Falls” the fallen leaves the poet’s wife once fought to maintain crowd the patio, burying it with their inevitable decay. She used to clear them away every morning. But now, every morning the poet is confronted by their presence, thereby reminded of her death, “Those hateful leaves / she fought so fiercely / to keep away, / are now here to stay.”


Review by Jared Pearce

The sorrow and suffering here are compounded by futility, and yet the poem is not negative against nature which maintains our human smallness: “That is nature’s way.”  The leaves, the snow, the wife, the worry, the work—all things come and go.  In the face of truth, though, sorrow is foolishness, which for me is how this poem turns futility to beauty.



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