“After snowstorms my father / shoveled the driveway where it lay”

snow footprintsA tip o’ the hat is due to Ted Kooser and the American Life in Poetry project for this week’s poem, because I don’t think I would have found it otherwise. Thomas R. Moore’s “Removing the Dross” is a poem about snow shoveling, particularly apropos given the arctic freeze in North America this week.

The speaker’s father has a particular method of shoveling, so precise that it reminded me of a Hemingway hero’s expertise in camping. The imagery, diction, and rhythm of the poem come together in a particularly satisfying way.

Let me know what you think! Favorite lines or images?

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7 thoughts on ““After snowstorms my father / shoveled the driveway where it lay”

  1. Nice one. I always think of (and worry about) my almost 80 y/o dad shoveling on days like this.

    Lots of great imagery especially in the second half, but the last stanza is my favorite:

    blocks with the waxed blade, lifted
    and tossed, lifted and tossed again,
    squaring off against the snow.

    I like the repetition of “lifted and tossed,” just like shoveling, and as the poster wrote, the double entendre of “squaring off.” 🙂

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