The Book of Snow by Robert Seatter is the poet’s fourth collection of poetry. Seatter has published three poetry collections: Travelling to the Fish Orchards, On the Beach with Chet Baker, and Writing King Kong. He lives in London where he works for the BBC as Head of BBC History, following earlier careers in publishing, acting and teaching.
Seatter’ forward includes the Margaret Atwood quote about the Eskimos having fifty-two words for snow. He, in turn, gives us thirty-eight poems about snow. From the gray dreariness of midwinter to the unimaginable whiteness of the frozen palace in Dr. Zhivago, snow has a deeper meaning than simply frozen water. He compares the snow to white noise and the reader can see the comparison of the white noise static of a television screen or static of a radio and a blizzard.
just the radio transmitting endless white noise.
Even when we sleep now,
(at the very bottom of the next empty page)
our dreams stream white.
“How We Sleep Now” seems to leave the reader trapped in winter much like being stuck in a snow globe. Anyone from the north can relate to the feeling of being trapped inside of winter come January and February. Included is a tribute to Wilson Bentley the first person to photograph a snowflake in 1885. He eventually collected 5,000 unique images of snowflakes.
Seatter also includes the art of Jessica Palmer and the designs of Sally James in this collection. Their art contributes nicely with the written word. From cutting snowflakes to the graphic art, everything comes together with art inspiring the writing and the writing influencing the art. A nice collection to read in front of the fireplace.