Mar 18 2010

Taking the Measure of the Wind
by Farwell Forrest

Winter is icummen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!

— Ezra Pound, “Ancient Music”

Iconoclast, toady to tyrants, madman or fool or both — Ezra Pound isn’t everyone’s favorite poet. He certainly isn’t mine. But today, as a freshening breeze in a cloudless sky gives notice that summer’s lease is short, and about to expire, I can’t get Pound’s mischievous little jingle out of my mind.

“How the wind doth ramm!” All too soon, October storms will turn tiny northern ponds on edge and drive massive green rollers across the big lakes, gladdening the hearts of wetsuited windsurfers and terrifying canoeists in equal measure. Folks whose fun is fueled by gasoline can ignore the wind, at least until it’s blowing half a gale. Not so the legions of no-octane explorers. Canoeists and kayakers, cyclists and sailors — for all of us, the wind is a constant presence, an implacable, elemental force. Sometimes welcomed as a friend, often cursed as an enemy, but always inescapably there. We travel at the wind’s pleasure, and we ignore it at our peril… Read more…