When the weather is epic in scale, poetry is demanded

Someday, someone might ask you to write a weather story. And you might complain.

Or you might remember this amazing piece of work by Katharine Q. Seelye of the New York Times, pull on your weather gear and go do the job. Because a good reporter knows that wherever there’s human versus nature, there’s writing to be done.

Writing like this:

It is hard to remember when the snows began, and even harder to imagine when they might end. There are almost no humans to be seen outdoors, just the blowing, drifting sheets of whiteness, punctuated by an occasional beeping yellow plow pushing its catch up against mounds already eight feet high, 10 feet high, even 15 feet high, further burying long-submerged cars that now seem lost forever in a frosty version of Pompeii.

Or this:

Indeed, with 20 inches in Boston over the weekend on top of the seven feet already on the ground, the mayor, Martin J. Walsh, had the air of Job about him as he spoke at a news conference of fresh plagues visited upon the land: winds up to 55 miles per hour, temperatures “dangerously low,” an increase in carbon monoxide poisonings, snow-laden roofs reaching the breaking point, warnings to clear out snow-clogged heating vents and tailpipes and, as if that were not enough, a heads-up to beware of falling icicles.

(Kind of puts our six inches into perspective, doesn’t it?)

You say you like to write? Notice the rhythm of Seelye’s sentences and how she uses length to pile on the impact. And still, clarity isn’t lost.

Good writers rise to the occasion. Boston’s mind-boggling winter (and it isn’t over yet) is one such occasion. Yours is sure to arrive. Try not to miss it.

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