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Ambrose Bierce

(24 June 1842 - 26 December 1913 / Horse Cave Creek, Ohio)

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Weather


Once I dipt into the future far as human eye could see,
And I saw the Chief Forecaster, dead as any one can be--
Dead and damned and shut in Hades as a liar from his birth,
With a record of unreason seldome paralleled on earth.
While I looked he reared him solemnly, that incandescent youth,
From the coals that he'd preferred to the advantages of truth.
He cast his eyes about him and above him; then he wrote
On a slab of thin asbestos what I venture here to quote--
For I read it in the rose-light of the everlasting glow:
'Cloudy; variable winds, with local showers; cooler; snow.'

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Wednesday, July 13, 2011

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Read poems about / on: birth, future, snow, rose, truth, weather, light, wind

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Comments about this poem (Weather by Ambrose Bierce )

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  • Stephen W (7/11/2014 7:23:00 AM)

    The poem is about the notorious unreliability of weather forecasting, and the forecasters refusal to admit it, across generations of soliciting huge amounts of government money. Now they have satellites and vast computers they are much better than they used to be, but for a century they forecast utter tosh, at vast expense to the public. (Report) Reply

  • Sara Lowe (7/11/2014 12:32:00 AM)

    this is really beautiful- tons of different interpretations. my first impression, and that of (i presume) many other readers, was that the Great Forecaster was God. It seems that the author was an atheist, or even a questioning believer, looking into the future to find God trapped in hell, stripped of immortality and omnipotence. (Report) Reply

  • Is It Poetry (7/11/2013 9:50:00 AM)

    Forecasting the weather
    back then was as if.
    Remembering,
    Katherine Hepburn's
    house on the upper east coast.
    Like a Judge
    with a defendant before you.
    Do you punish or save
    those before you......iip (Report) Reply

  • Captain Cur (7/12/2012 8:14:00 AM)

    What a fair weather poem, cloudy with a chance of brilliance.
    Great, great write! Is it safe to set sail today? (Report) Reply

  • Terence George Craddock (7/11/2012 2:49:00 PM)

    Help Claudia, the dark one keeps deleting the end of my comment, posting separately again. The deletion of Claudia’s comment raises the question, do readers have the right to comment regardless of whether they like a poem or not? And whether other readers agree or disagree? My weather forecast on this one is most reader want to see both honest positive and negative comments on quality, because it makes reading comments more interesting. Any bets on how this comment weather’s the storm? (Report) Reply

  • Terence George Craddock (7/11/2012 2:45:00 PM)

    I like the line 'Once I dipt into the future far as human eye could see, ' in the first line of the poem contrasted with the ending everlasting glow: ' of 'Cloudy; variable winds, with local showers; cooler; snow.' Global warming and rising sea levels seems to have put the lie to this weather report also. Reminds me of the joke about the weather forecaster who had to move because the weather did not agree with him.
    Interesting that Claudia Krizay pointed out that the critic running this site is also disagreeable. I would have been interested in your original comment Claudia. My father taught me to weigh pros and cons of arguments and think before arguing, thus I shall weigh out of this one without an opinion on the actual quality of the poem, another sad cop out; nice ab end rhyme scheme though.
    The deletion of Claudia’s comment raises the question, do readers have the right to comment regardless of whether they like a poem or not? And whether other readers agree or disagree? My weather forecast on this one is most reader want to see both honest positive and negative comments on quality, because it makes reading comments more interesting. Any bets on how this comment weather’s the storm? (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (7/11/2012 3:31:00 AM)

    Eternally unchanging weather report or forecast it is! For, Nature preserves past in present to future! This is true more now than before! (Report) Reply

  • Karen Sinclair (7/11/2012 2:04:00 AM)

    Compared to most writes of classics, i must be missing something as to me this is merely mediocre...the one ingratiating feature is the mention of asbestos slab which pulled a little to humour or environmental issues, i am a tad slow sometimes so may be missing the obviously fabulous.... sorry ambrose (Report) Reply

  • Juan Olivarez (7/11/2011 5:50:00 PM)

    The ones who run this site deleted it. Interesting but even Jesus never raised Cain, just Lazarus. (Report) Reply

  • Claudia Krizay (7/11/2010 2:48:00 PM)

    It seems as if my comment was deleted-We, , I wonder why! Probably because it was negative and critical- in my opinion comments should not be deleted unless they are praising and say good things about a poem- no on is perfect and I believe that negative comments should be heard as well as the positive ones-i used no profanity in my comment- basically all I wanted to specify was that didn't think it was a very good poem- if you delet this comment I will go to the authorities of this site and raise cain - (Report) Reply

  • Mike Rathbone (7/11/2010 9:22:00 AM)

    Interesting to see that bill shakespeare reads ambrose bierce, how does he manage that? (Report) Reply

  • Manonton Dalan (7/11/2010 6:17:00 AM)

    when weather is bad we seem to blame it on weatherman;
    they improve a lot since sir ambrose time... wall street
    futures are different... your future that's yours...
    btw spain 2-1.(world cup) (Report) Reply

  • Pranab K Chakraborty (7/11/2010 12:54:00 AM)

    'Cloudy; variable winds, with local showers; cooler; snow.'

    No more words are more sufficient to illustrate the unseen future. Beautiful experience of reading.
    Sense of humour and seriousness of choosing the subject to write poetry.....yes, it is the landmark.

    Echoing again:
    I saw the Chief Forecaster, dead as any one can be-
    Dead and damned and shut in Hades as a liar from his birth,

    Regards,
    pranab k chakraborty (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Poewhit (7/11/2009 5:55:00 AM)

    Lots of safety in a blanket forecast, since GOD can change the weather in a flicker of the eye. (Report) Reply

Read all 24 comments »

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