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


Poem By Ambrose Bierce

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.'

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Comments (24)

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.
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.
Usually never right -weather-people
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
What a fair weather poem, cloudy with a chance of brilliance. Great, great write! Is it safe to set sail today?