Poems for Winter

Winter Poems

Winter is the season when everything seems to be asleep. The weather is cold, and the trees seem to be dead. But every season has its special beauty and winter is no exception. Snow and ice are glitterning in the sun, children have fun sledding.
We have some classic winter poetry from a variety of poets here, free to use. Below you will find a host of winter quotes, poems and verses.

 

Classic Winter Poetry

A snow-covered tree


London Snow
by Robert Bridges


When men were all asleep the snow came flying,
In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,
Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town;
Deadening, muffling, stifling its murmurs failing;
Lazily and incessantly floating down and down:
Silently sifting and veiling road, roof and railing;
Hiding difference, making unevenness even,
Into angles and crevices softly drifting and sailing.
All night it fell, and when full inches seven ...

Read more


Song-The Winter of Life
by Robert Burns


But lately seen in gladsome green,
The woods rejoic'd the day,
Thro' gentle showers, the laughing flowers
In double pride were gay:
But now our joys are fled
On winter blasts awa;
Yet maiden May, in rich array,
Again shall bring them a'.

But my white pow, nae kindly thowe
Shall melt the snaws of Age;
My trunk of eild, but buss or beild,
Sinks in Time's wintry rage.
Oh, Age has weary days,
And nights o' sleepless pain:
Thou golden time, o' Youthfu' prime,
Why comes thou not again!

Robert Burns (1759 - 1796) was a Scottish poet and a lyricist.


Now Winter Nights Enlarge
by Thomas Campion


Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours,
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze,
And cups o'erflow with wine;
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love,
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
Sleep's leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
With lovers' long discourse;
Much speech hath some defence,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well;
Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
They shorten tedious nights.

Thomas Campion (1567 - 1620) was an English composer and poet.


The Winter's Spring
by John Clare


The winter comes; I walk alone,
I want no bird to sing;
To those who keep their hearts their own
The winter is the spring.
No flowers to please-no bees to hum-
The coming spring's already come.

I never want the Christmas rose
To come before its time;
The seasons, each as God bestows,
Are simple and sublime.
I love to see the snowstorm hing;
'Tis but the winter garb of spring.

I never want the grass to bloom:
The snowstorm's best in white.
I love to see the tempest come
And love its piercing light.
The dazzled eyes that love to cling
O'er snow-white meadows sees the spring.

I love the snow, the crumpling snow
That hangs on everything,
It covers everything below
Like white dove's brooding wing,
A landscape to the aching sight,
A vast expanse of dazzling light.

It is the foliage of the woods
That winters bring-the dress,
White Easter of the year in bud,
That makes the winter Spring.
The frost and snow his posies bring,
Nature's white spurts of the spring.

John Clare (1793 - 1864) was an English poet.


The Sky is Low, The Clouds Are Mean
by Emily Dickinson


The sky is low, the clouds are mean,
A travelling flake of snow
Across a barn or through a rut
Debates if it will go.

A narrow wind complains all day
How some one treated him;
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem.

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (1830 - 1886) was an American poet.


In Winter Time
by Andrew Downing


Though leafless are my trees--
My trees so tall and stately--
And silently from these
My birds have flitted lately;
Though many joys I've known,
As sweet as baby laughter,
Which have forever flown--
And sorrow follows after;
Though dead my summer flowers,
And winds are bleak and dreary,
I shall not waste the hours
In vain lament, my dearie,
Nor miss the gay carouse
Of bobolink and linnet,
If still my heart shall house
A singing bird within it.

Andrew Jackson Downing (1815 - 1852) was an American
landscape designer and writer
.


Winter Birds
by Andrew Downing


Fair is the sky, for the cloud-rack is lifted--
Bright will the day be, though dark was the morn;
Warm was the morn, but the strong wind has shifted
Into the north--where the blizzards are born.
White coward mercury goes down to zero--
Darting about flies a veteran jay,
Braving the breeze, like a blue-coated hero--
Seeking his supper, I venture to say.

Neighbors pass hurriedly, mantled and muffled--
Great coats, and seal-skins, to keep out the storm--
Plump little quail, with their plumage beruffled,
Search in the hedge for a nook that is warm.
That latest blast from the boreal bellows,
Drifted some snow-birds the garden below;
Always their coming, the wise-acres tell us,
Tokens cold weather, and flurries of snow.

Warm sheltered corners the cattle have chosen,
Shivers the pine in its evergreen leaves;
Pools by the roadside in wrinkles are frozen--
Bayonet icicles hang from the eaves.
Five English sparrows, defying the weather,
There in the pathway a conference hold;
Ho! merry midgets in doublets of feathers!
Why do you rally out there in the cold?

Little you care for the riot and rattle--
Little you heed--let the mercury fall!
Brave little fighters, go on with your battle--
Here is a friend who will welcome you all!
Fly to my window--I'll feed every comer--
Hail to the comrades that constancy show
Loving and loyal, in winter and summer--
With us, alike, in the heat and the snow!

Andrew Jackson Downing (1815 - 1852) was an American
landscape designer and writer.



Winter Sunshine
by Andrew Downing


It scarcely seems winter, so faint is the breeze
That stirs the green mistletoe there in the trees,
So idly on high float the white clouds along,
So sweet is the note of the meadow-lark's song,
So lazily loiter the herds where they stand,
So warm is the sunshine that lies on the land.

How bright, and far-reaching, from morning till night,
The glint and the glory, on foot-hill and height,
As if a broad mantle of yellowest gold,
O'er vale, mount and mesa, were softly unrolled;
As if Father Time sets his dial to show
That June's darling roses are ready to blow.

So pure is the air, and so crystalline clear,
The Organ peaks cluster so neighborly near
We bid them "Good morning," as if they are friends,
And the blue arch of heaven so lovingly bends
Above us, the spot seems a tropical isle,
Where Summer sheds ever the light of her smile.

New Mexican sunshine! like wine that is old,
And richest of vintage, its amber drops hold
New strength for the weak, and new joy for the strong;
It thrills them, yet soothes, like a lullaby-song,
Brings languor, and peace, till the worn spirit seems
Afloat in a boat, in the harbor of dreams!

Andrew Jackson Downing (1815 - 1852) was an American
landscape designer and writer.



Winter Song
by Paul Laurence Dunbar


Oh, who would be sad tho' the sky be a-graying,
And meadow and woodlands are empty and bare;
For softly and merrily now there come playing,
The little white birds thro' the winter-kissed air.

The squirrel's enjoying the rest of the thrifty,
He munches his store in the old hollow tree;
Tho' cold is the blast and the snow-flakes are drifty
He fears the white flock not a whit more than we.

Then heigho for the flying snow!
Over the whitened roads we go,
With pulses that tingle,
And sleigh-bells a-jingle
For winter's white birds here's a cheery heigho!

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872 - 1906) was an African-American poet,
novelist and playwright.



The Snow-Storm
by Ralph Waldo Emerson


Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The sled and traveler stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

Come see the north wind's masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, naught cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall,
Maugre the farmer's sighs; and, at the gate,
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882) was an American essayist and poet.


To Flowers From Italy in Winter
by Thomas Hardy


Sunned in the South, and here to-day;
--If all organic things
Be sentient, Flowers, as some men say,
What are your ponderings?

How can you stay, nor vanish quite
From this bleak spot of thorn,
And birch, and fir, and frozen white
Expanse of the forlorn?

Frail luckless exiles hither brought!
Your dust will not regain
Old sunny haunts of Classic thought
When you shall waste and wane;

But mix with alien earth, be lit
With frigid Boreal flame,
And not a sign remain in it
To tell men whence you came.

Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928) was an English novelist and poet.


Birds at Winter Nightfall (Triolet)
by Thomas Hardy


Around the house the flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone
From holly and cotoneaster
Around the house. The flakes fly!--faster
Shutting indoors that crumb-outcaster
We used to see upon the lawn
Around the house. The flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone!

Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928) was an English novelist and poet.


In drear-nighted December
by John Keats


In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne'er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne'er remember
Apollo's summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would 'twere so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy?
The feel of not to feel it,
When there is none to heal it
Nor numbed sense to steel it,
Was never said in rhyme

John Keats (1795 - 1821) was an English poet.


The Winter Wind
by Louisa Lawson


The winter wind! e wh-e-e, e wh-e-e!
It bites and smites and chases me,
And pelts with boughs and shrieks with glee,
This winter wind so fierce and free;
Till wide-eyed stars so white and wee
Peer through the scud all fearsomely.

The love-warm rose no longer now
Clings fondly round fair nature's brow;
But in its place the chill winds roam
Through locks as white as frozen foam.
The winter wind so fierce and free
Has wrought this change. Ah me! Ah me!

Her dress that once was green and bright
Is stiffened sheer and bleached to white.
And where did rose and lily be
Are flecks of frosty filigree
His breath is death, his voice is dree,
This winter wind so fierce and free.

Louisa Lawson (1848 - 1920) was an Australian poet and writer.


Snowflakes
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Out of the bosom of the Air.
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent and soft and slow
Descends the snow.
Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels
This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882) was an American poet.


Woods in Winter
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


When winter winds are piercing chill,
And through the hawthorn blows the gale,
With solemn feet I tread the hill,
That overbrows the lonely vale.

O'er the bare upland, and away
Through the long reach of desert woods,
The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
And gladden these deep solitudes.

Where, twisted round the barren oak,
The summer vine in beauty clung,
And summer winds the stillness broke,
The crystal icicle is hung.

Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
Pour out the river's gradual tide,
Shrilly the skater's iron rings,
And voices fill the woodland side.

Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
When birds sang out their mellow lay,
And winds were soft, and woods were green,
And the song ceased not with the day!

But still wild music is abroad,
Pale, desert woods! within your crowd;
And gathering winds, in hoarse accord,
Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.

Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882) was an American poet.


A Winter Ride
by Amy Lowell


Who shall declare the joy of the running!
Who shall tell of the pleasures of flight!
Springing and spurning the tufts of wild heather,
Sweeping, wide-winged, through the blue dome of light.
Everything mortal has moments immortal,
Swift and God-gifted, immeasurably bright.
So with the stretch of the white road before me,
Shining snowcrystals rainbowed by the sun,
Fields that are white, stained with long, cool, blue shadows,
Strong with the strength of my horse as we run.
Joy in the touch of the wind and the sunlight!
Joy! With the vigorous earth I am one.

Amy Lawrence Lowell (1874 - 1925) was an American poet.


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.

Amy Lawrence Lowell (1874 - 1925) was an American poet.


Winter Song
by Katherine Mansfield


Rain and wind, and wind and rain.
Will the Summer come again?
Rain on houses, on the street,
Wetting all the people's feet,
Though they run with might and main.
Rain and wind, and wind and rain.

Snow and sleet, and sleet and snow.
Will the Winter never go?
What do beggar children do
With no fire to cuddle to,
P'raps with nowhere warm to go?
Snow and sleet, and sleet and snow.

Hail and ice, and ice and hail,
Water frozen in the pail.
See the robins, brown and red,
They are waiting to be fed.
Poor dears, battling in the gale!
Hail and ice, and ice and hail.

Katherine Mansfield Beauchamp Murry (1888 - 1923) was
a writer of short fiction from New Zealand.



Winter Heavens
by George Meredith


Sharp is the night, but stars with frost alive
Leap off the rim of earth across the dome.
It is a night to make the heavens our home
More than the nest whereto apace we strive.
Lengths down our road each fir-tree seems a hive,
In swarms outrushing from the golden comb.
They waken waves of thoughts that burst to foam:
The living throb in me, the dead revive.
Yon mantle clothes us: there, past mortal breath,
Life glistens on the river of the death.
It folds us, flesh and dust; and have we knelt,
Or never knelt, or eyed as kine the springs
Of radiance, the radiance enrings:
And this is the soul's haven to have felt.

George Meredith (1828 - 1909) was an English novelist and poet.


A Winter Dawn
by Lucy Maud Montgomery


Above the marge of night a star still shines,
And on the frosty hills the sombre pines
Harbor an eerie wind that crooneth low
Over the glimmering wastes of virgin snow.

Through the pale arch of orient the morn
Comes in a milk-white splendor newly-born,
A sword of crimson cuts in twain the gray
Banners of shadow hosts, and lo, the day!

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874 - 1942) was a Canadian author.


A Winter Day
by Lucy Maud Montgomery

I

The air is silent save where stirs
A bugling breeze among the firs;
The virgin world in white array
Waits for the bridegroom kiss of day;
All heaven blooms rarely in the east
Where skies are silvery and fleeced,
And o'er the orient hills made glad
The morning comes in wonder clad;
Oh, 'tis a time most fit to see
How beautiful the dawn can be! ...

Read more


The Garden in Winter
by Lucy Maud Montgomery


Frosty-white and cold it lies
Underneath the fretful skies;
Snowflakes flutter where the red
Banners of the poppies spread,
And the drifts are wide and deep
Where the lilies fell asleep.

But the sunsets o'er it throw
Flame-like splendor, lucent glow,
And the moonshine makes it gleam
Like a wonderland of dream,
And the sharp winds all the day
Pipe and whistle shrilly gay.

Safe beneath the snowdrifts lie
Rainbow buds of by-and-by;
In the long, sweet days of spring
Music of bluebells shall ring,
And its faintly golden cup
Many a primrose will hold up.

Though the winds are keen and chill
Roses' hearts are beating still,
And the garden tranquilly
Dreams of happy hours to be
In the summer days of blue
All its dreamings will come true.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874 - 1942) was a Canadian author.


Winter Song
by Wilfred Owen


The browns, the olives, and the yellows died,
And were swept up to heaven; where they glowed
Each dawn and set of sun till Christmastide,
And when the land lay pale for them, pale-snowed,
Fell back, and down the snow-drifts flamed and flowed.

From off your face, into the winds of winter,
The sun-brown and the summer-gold are blowing;
But they shall gleam with spiritual glinter,
When paler beauty on your brows falls snowing,
And through those snows my looks shall be soft-going.

Wilfred Edward Salter Owen (1893 - 1918) was an English poet.


A Daughter of Eve
by Christina Rossetti


A fool I was to sleep at noon,
And wake when night is chilly
Beneath the comfortless cold moon;
A fool to pluck my rose too soon,
A fool to snap my lily.

My garden-plot I have not kept;
Faded and all-forsaken,
I weep as I have never wept:
Oh it was summer when I slept,
It's winter now I waken.

Talk what you please of future spring
And sun-warm'd sweet to-morrow:-
Stripp'd bare of hope and everything,
No more to laugh, no more to sing,
I sit alone with sorrow.

Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830 - 1894) was an English poet.


Winter: My Secret
by Christina Rossetti


I tell my secret? No indeed, not I:
Perhaps some day, who knows?
But not today; it froze, and blows, and snows,
And you're too curious: fie!
You want to hear it? well:
Only, my secret's mine, and I won't tell.

Or, after all, perhaps there's none:
Suppose there is no secret after all,
But only just my fun. ...

Read more


Winter
by George William Russell


A Diamond glow of winter o'er the world:
Amid the chilly halo nigh the west
Flickers a phantom violet bloom unfurled
Dim on the twilight's breast.

Only phantasmal blooms but for an hour,
A transient beauty; then the white stars shine
Chilling the heart: I long for thee to flower,
O bud of light divine.

But never visible to sense or thought
The flower of Beauty blooms afar withdrawn;
If in our being then we know it not,
Or, knowing, it is gone.

George William Russell (1867 - 1935) was an Irish writer and poet.


Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind
by William Shakespeare


Blow, blow, thou winter wind.
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember'd not.
Heigh-ho! Sing
As You Like It (Act II, Scene 7)

William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) was an English poet and playwright.


Sonnet 73
by William Shakespeare


That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) was an English poet and playwright.


Sonnet 97
by William Shakespeare


How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December's bareness everywhere!
And yet this time removed was summer's time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widowed wombs after their lords' decease:
Yet this abundant issue seemed to me
But hope of orphans, and unfathered fruit,
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And thou away, the very birds are mute.
Or, if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer,
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near.

William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) was an English poet and playwright.


When icicles hang by the wall
by William Shakespeare


When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
And Tom bears logs into the hall
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp'd and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-whit;
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all aloud the wind doth blow
And coughing drowns the parson's saw
And birds sit brooding in the snow
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-whit;
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
Love's Labour's Lost, 5.2.916-31

William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) was an English poet and playwright.


Winter
by Robert Southey


A wrinkled crabbed man they picture thee,
Old Winter, with a rugged beard as grey
As the long moss upon the apple-tree;
Blue-lipt, an icedrop at thy sharp blue nose,
Close muffled up, and on thy dreary way
Plodding alone through sleet and drifting snows.
They should have drawn thee by the high-heapt hearth,
Old Winter! seated in thy great armed chair,
Watching the children at their Christmas mirth;
Or circled by them as thy lips declare
Some merry jest, or tale of murder dire,
Or troubled spirit that disturbs the night,
Pausing at times to rouse the mouldering fire,
Or taste the old October brown and bright.

Robert Southey (1774 - 1843) was an English poet.


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!

Evaleen Stein (1863-1923) was an American poet and writer.


Winter-Time
by Robert Louis Stevenson


Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.

Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (1850 - 1894) was a Scottish novelist and poet.


To Winter
by William B. Tappan


WINTER! there are among the race of men,
Strangers to thought who slander thee;
Thy frowns appal, thy smiles escape their ken,
Far lovelier the garb thou wear'st to me.

I love thy rocking storms to hear;
Thy blasts, that bid the aged mountains nod,
Thy winds are music to mine ear,
To me their murmuring is the voice of God.

Thou of the kindly charities!
'Tis thine to thaw man's heart--the frigid soul,
Sterner than frost, is melted, nor denies
Its aid to bid the tempest-tosed be whole.

Yea mother! thou art not austere;
Though frozen be thy aspect, bliss is thine
Unknown to fairer May. Upon thy shrine
Ever is seen the grateful orphan's tear.

Parent of treasures, thou!
Should I not love thee? O, can aught compare
With thy dear fireside joys?--the tranquil brow,
The wife's warm smile and children's kiss are there.

William B. Tappan (1794 - 1849) was an American poet and pastor.


February Twilight
by Sara Teasdale


I stood beside a hill
Smooth with new-laid snow,
A single star looked out
From the cold evening glow.
There was no other creature
That saw what I could see --
I stood and watched the evening star
As long as it watched me.

Sara Teasdale (1884 - 1933) was an American lyrical poet.


Talking in Their Sleep
by Edith M. Thomas


"You think I am dead,"
The apple tree said,
"Because I have never a leaf to show -
Because I stoop,
And my branches droop,
And the dull gray mosses over me grow!

"But I'm still alive in trunk and shoot;
The buds of next May
I fold away -
But I pity the withered grass at my root."

"You think I am dead,"
The quick grass said,
"Because I have parted with stem and blade!
But under the ground,
I am safe and sound
With the snow's thick blanket over me laid.

"I'm all alive, and ready to shoot,
Should the spring of the year
Come dancing here -
But I pity the flower without branch or root."

"You think I am dead,"
A soft voice said,
"Because not a branch or root I own.
I never have died, but close I hide
In a plumy seed that the wind has sown.

"Patient I wait through the long winter hours;
You will see me again -
I shall laugh at you then,
Out of the eyes of a hundred flowers.

Edith Matilda Thomas (1854 - 1925) was an American poet.


Winter Sleep
by Elinor Wylie


When against earth a wooden heel
Clicks as loud as stone on steel,
When stone turns flour instead of flakes,
And frost bakes clay as fire bakes,
When the hard-bitten fields at last
Crack like iron flawed in the cast,
When the world is wicked and cross and old,
I long to be quit of the cruel cold.

Little birds like bubbles of glass
Fly to other Americas,
Birds as bright as sparkles of wine
Fly in the nite to the Argentine,
Birds of azure and flame-birds go
To the tropical Gulf of Mexico:
They chase the sun, they follow the heat,
It is sweet in their bones, O sweet, sweet, sweet!
It's not with them that I'd love to be,
But under the roots of the balsam tree.

Just as the spiniest chestnut-burr
Is lined within with the finest fur,
So the stoney-walled, snow-roofed house
Of every squirrel and mole and mouse
Is lined with thistledown, sea-gull's feather,
Velvet mullein-leaf, heaped together
With balsam and juniper, dry and curled,
Sweeter than anything else in the world.

O what a warm and darksome nest
Where the wildest things are hidden to rest!
It's there that I'd love to lie and sleep,
Soft, soft, soft, and deep, deep, deep!

Elinor Morton Wylie (1885 - 1928) was an American poet.


The Cold Heaven
by William Butler Yeats


Suddenly I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven
That seemed as though ice burned and was but the more ice,
And thereupon imagination and heart were driven
So wild that every casual thought of that and this
Vanished, and left but memories, that should be out of season
With the hot blood of youth, of love crossed long ago;
And I took all the blame out of all sense and reason,
Until I cried and trembled and rocked to and fro,
Riddled with light. Ah! when the ghost begins to quicken,
Confusion of the death-bed over, is it sent
Out naked on the roads, as the books say, and stricken
By the injustice of the skies for punishment?

William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939) was an Irish poet.


Modern Winter Poetry
- Poems sent to us by our readers -



Winter on the army ranges
by Maria Hewitt


Winter footprints track the snow
Where the path lies dormant
Bewildering snowdrops lick my lashes
As I battle up high on to the ranges.
Black and brown cattle bombard the opaque skyline
Nuzzling at the heather sheltering in its snowy attire
All is mantled in dull shades of white.

Screams of joy and excited fear
Resound through the deadened landscape
As ranks of brightly bemuffled children
Slither and slide down the snowclad hill
On toboggans and trays
Encouraged by vicarious parents
No longer brave enough to do the same.

I reach higher into the dervish snow
Spinning around mesmerised pinetrees
Standing to attention at smothered battle lines
When suddenly the hostly sun
Piercing the crystal veil and glistening haloed
Bestows its blessing on the virginal Earth
Revelling in the purity of winter.

Copyright Maria Hewitt, 2013
Please respect the author's copyright.
For further information see our "Copyright" terms
.


Winter Greetings
by Ann Worrall


It is the winter season
of falling snow and ice,
and wearing gloves and woolly hats
and keeping warm is wise!

The clouds that scurry overhead
give way to gusting winds,
and now and then the sun peeps through
to remind us of the Spring.

The green and tiny tender shoots
will soon brave wind and rain,
and very soon the winter's grip
will fade along our lanes...

Copyright Ann Worrall, 2011
Please respect the author's copyright.
For further information see our "Copyright" terms.



Winter Poems for Children


A Riddle - On Snow
by James Parton


From Heaven I fall, though from earth I begin.
No lady alive can show such a skin.
I'm bright as an angel, and light as a feather,
But heavy and dark, when you squeeze me together.
Though candor and truth in my aspect I bear,
Yet many poor creatures I help to insnare.
Though so much of Heaven appears in my make,
The foulest impressions I easily take.
My parent and I produce one another,
The mother the daughter, the daughter the mother.

James Parton (1822 - 1891) was an English-born American biographer.


Jack Frost
by Gabriel Setoun (Thomas Nicoll Hepburn)


The door was shut, as doors should be,
Before you went to bed last night;
Yet Jack Frost has got in, you see,
And left your window silver white.

He must have waited till you slept;
And not a single word he spoke,
But penciled o'er the panes and crept
Away again before you woke.

And now you cannot see the hills
Nor fields that stretch beyond the lane;
But there are fairer things than these
His fingers traced on every pane.

Rocks and castles towering high;
Hills and dales, and streams and fields;
And knights in armor riding by,
With nodding plumes and shining shields.

And here are little boats, and there
Big ships with sails spread to the breeze;
And yonder, palm trees waving fair
On islands set in silver seas,

And butterflies with gauzy wings;
And herds of cows and flocks of sheep;
And fruit and flowers and all the things
You see when you are sound asleep.

For, creeping softly underneath
The door when all the lights are out,
Jack Frost takes every breath you breathe,
And knows the things you think about.

He paints them on the window-pane
In fairy lines with frozen steam;
And when you wake you see again
The lovely things you saw in dream.

Thomas Nicoll Hepburn, pen name 'Gabriel Setoun', (1861-1930) was a Scottish poet and author.


Picture-Books in Winter
by Robert Louis Stevenson


Summer fading, winter comes
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.

Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books.

All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children's eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.

We may see how all things are
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies' looks,
In the picture story-books.

How am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books?

Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (1850 - 1894) was a Scottish novelist and poet.


Winter-Time
by Robert Louis Stevenson


Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.
Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.
Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.
When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.
Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.

Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (1850 - 1894) was a Scottish novelist and poet.


Famous Winter Haiku Poems
The Haiku is a classical poem from the Japanese tradition that uses syllables instead of poetic meters.

Read more