a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Poetry readings: Crow's Nests


Poetry readings: A Storm in April
Richard Wilbur Poet
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

Once long ago, when in fact we were living down in the middle of Connecticut, there came a rather big snowstorm in the middle of April and that begot this poem. So, it's... it's a poem about how it is when you get a snowstorm when you hadn't expected it. It's also, I think, in the broadest way a poem about how to die so as to go on living.

A Storm in April

Some winters, taking leave
Deal us a last, hard blow,
Salting the ground like Carthage
Before they will go.
But the bright, milling snow
Which throngs the air today -
It is a way of leaving
So as to stay.
The light flakes do not weigh
The willows down, but sift
Through the white catkins loose
As petal-drift,
Or in an up-draft lift
And glitter at a height,
Dazzling as summers leaf stir
Chinked with light.
This storm, if I am right,
Will not be wholly over
Till green fields, here and there
Turn white with clover,
And through chill air, the puffs of milkweed hover.

'Hover' is not a pure rhyme with 'clover', but I like the way it works anyway. The... I remember Wilbert Snow, a Connecticut poet who also was on the Wesleyan faculty for a time and who before that had been lieutenant governor of the State, saying to me about the, the rhyme scheme of this poem that it was as difficult as Frost's rhyme scheme in Stopping By Woods, and he said, 'You just got out of that with your honour.'


Acclaimed US poet Richard Wilbur (1921-2017) published many books and was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He was less well known for creating a musical version of Voltaire's “Candide” with Bernstein and Hellman which is still produced throughout the world today.

Listeners: David Sofield

David Sofield is the Samuel Williston Professor of English at Amherst College, where he has taught the reading and writing of poetry since 1965. He is the co-editor and a contributor to Under Criticism (1998) and the author of a book of poems, Light Disguise (2003).

Tags: Connecticut, A Storm in April

Duration: 2 minutes, 10 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2005

Date story went live: 29 September 2010