For some reason buried deep in my childhood, I always associate winter with poetry. There is something so exquisite about the sounds of wintry words – icicles, frosty, snowflake, flurry – so much fun to say and onomatopoeic enough to bring out the inner poet in just about anyone. Here are some of my favourite wintertime poems coupled with a few winter photos.
(A squirrel stocks up on nuts in snowy Central Park)
The Frosted Pane
by Evaleen Stein
When I wakened, very early,
All my window-pane was pearly
With a sparkling little picture traced in lines of shining white;
Some magician with a gleaming
Frosty brush, while I was dreaming,
Must have come and by the starlight worked through all the quiet night.
He had painted frosty people,
And a frosty church and steeple,
And a frosty bridge and river tumbling over frosty rocks;
Frosty mountain peaks that glimmered,
And fine frosty ferns that shimmered,
And a frosty little pasture full of frosty little flocks.
It was all touched in so lightly
And it glittered, oh, so whitely,
That I gazed and gazed in wonder at the lovely painted pane;
Then the sun rose high and higher
With his wand of golden fire
Till, alas, my picture vanished and I looked for it in vain!
(The snowy slopes of Hurricane Ridge in the Olympics, Washington State)
Falling Snow by Amy Lowell
The snow whispers about me,
And my wooden clogs
Leave holes behind me in the snow.
But no one will pass this way
Seeking my footsteps,
And when the temple bell rings again
They will be covered and gone.
(Ice-encrusted rose in a New York winter)
by Louis MacNeice
The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.
World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.
And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes –
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands –
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.