Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Poetry As Read by Weather Radio

On December 12th, I posted "Chance of Snow, Then Snow" -- a found poem composed entirely of forecast phrases from NOAA Weather Radio and inspired, one day during a blizzard, by the rhythmic reporting of snow variations on our local Weather Radio station WXK73. Thinking they might like to see the poem, I e-mailed the link to the nice folks at the National Weather Service office in Marquette, who manage that station. They totally floored me by sending back an audio file of their radio computer voice reading my poem!

So now you can listen to the poem being read by the voice that inspired the poem. Click on the arrow below to play the audio. Thanks to the National Weather Service office in Marquette for this recording, and for the great job they do providing us with weather information!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chance of Snow, Then Snow

Found poetry, says Wikipedia, is "created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry." This is exactly what I did one day a few winters ago as I sat housebound by a blizzard, listening on and off to NOAA weather radio and hoping for a break in the storm.

The more I listened to the winter voice of the National Weather Service, broadcasting from Marquette, the more I settled into its distinctive rhythm, and then -- yes -- its poetry. I heard not only information, but also nuance and progression: the arc of a story in what appeared out my window as relentless, monotonous white.

That day, I jotted down my favorite forecast phrases and tweaked them into this verse. I offer it here now in light of the Upper Peninsula weather of the last few days, as well as the weather to come. Happy winter!

Chance of Snow, Then Snow*

Expect cooler temperatures,
Single digits.

Chance of snow,
Snow flurries.
Light snow,
Snow likely.
Scattered snow,
Snow showers.
Blowing snow,
Snow falling.
Heavy snow,
Snow accumulation.

Snow and drifting snow --
Snow and fog --
Snow and ice --
Snow and sleet --
Snow and freezing spray.

Snow will begin to diminish!

-Katie Alvord

* Composed entirely of forecast phrases from NOAA weather radio station WXK73, originating from the National Weather Service office in Marquette

© 2006, 2009 by Katharine T. Alvord