I think Longfellow got it right about the month of February..

I am fully aware that it is pointless to dislike a particular month of the year but, even with that it mind, I find, and have found for many years, that the passing of February is a moment to which I look forward. Wishing time away is anathema but there remains an enervating quality to this second month of each year that grates against my senses and certainly grated against those of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The loneliness of this picture, taken on a recent visit to the small farm where I sometimes buy eggs and vegetables, put me in mind of a wonderful poem called “The Horses” written by an Orcadian poet named Edwin Muir. His early life was so filled with misery and grinding poverty that, in comparison,  February would be like Mardi Gras.

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About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
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24 Responses to I think Longfellow got it right about the month of February..

  1. Mad Dog says:

    I bet the poor horse will be glad it’s over too 😉

  2. Alli says:

    Swapping hemispheres means February is a great month, mid summer, sunny days, surf and BBQs, I’m so glad I swapped’

  3. Roger, take up skiing. Suzanne and I spend the winter in the French Alps and we are desperate for February to stretch on forever.

  4. The difference in the two images is startling to me…the first, with its color washed away, is a stark and cold scene, while the second hints of spring’s arrival with a blue sky and melting snow…amazing how a little tweak changes the whole mood.
    I detest February, by the way…and have since childhood. It may be the shortest month, but it feels like the longest.

  5. Love this poem, I studied it at school many (many, many) years ago and it made a huge impression on me.

  6. ChgoJohn says:

    Such a moving piece! I’m unfamiliar with its author and will take some time correcting that shortcoming. If forced to choose, I would pick photo Number 2, if only for the blue sky. We’re in the middle of a snowstorm. Nothing major but we should end up with about 4 or 5 inches of very heavy, wet snow. So, I’m not in much of a pro-February mood right now and if I wish to see a gray sky, all I need do is look out a window.

  7. I’m such a dreary person; I enjoy the starkness of the first photo. The possibility of illumination is lovely in the second; yet the contemplative nature of the voided landscape is quite powerful. Wonderful post~

  8. Cara Hobday says:

    Every year I think I will not hate February with it’s what if’s and if only’s, I tell myself to be positive!Onward Christian Soldiers! Yes, we can do it! And all that…
    But daffodils are out, March is nearly here, and when I am underdressed and shivering in the blue skies and freezing cold north winds, I will yearn for the stark landscape and the promise of the open fire and crumpets for tea, and the contemplation of a beautiful poem.

  9. ....RaeDi says:

    The last line… say says it all! I have loved Longfellow words… you have made my day! Lets be thankful that Feb is a short month but this year is an added day! Five more to go and we are headed into March!

  10. Thanks for this, I haven’t read it for a long time. It’s a wonderful poem full of bleak good sense. Since I moved to the Languedoc I feel better about February as it usually brings first signs of spring, but I still can’t shake off my feelings about November!

  11. I won’t talk about our weather then, but at least February is almost over!

  12. hotlyspiced says:

    I know February is bad for the humans but I always feel so sorry for the animals and livestock. But…only a few more days to go!

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