Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Winter

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”— Albert Camus


“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”— Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

      Midweek Motif ~ Winter

Winter is not that much cold, bleak and depressing where I live. It rather sends off a vibe of joy and color. It’s a time for comfort and good food. Winter is sunny, bright with a nip in the air. Everyone is happy as the sweltering heat is no more.

It would be perfect if such winter story was true for all. For the poor and homeless winter is a more or less grim struggle as elsewhere.

For this week write a winter poem.

Sharing a few poems now:

by Pablo Neruda

From the window I saw the horses.
I was in Berlin, in winter. The light
had no light, the sky had no heaven.
The air was white like wet bread.
And from my window a vacant arena,
bitten by the teeth of winter.
Suddenly driven out by a man,
ten horses surged through the mist.
Like waves of fire, they flared forward
and to my eyes filled the whole world,
empty till then. Perfect, ablaze,
they were like ten gods with pure white hoofs,
with manes like a dream of salt.
Their rumps were worlds and oranges.
Their color was honey, amber, fire.
Their necks were towers
cut from the stone of pride,
and behind their transparent eyes
energy raged, like a prisoner.
There, in silence, at mid-day,
in that dirty, disordered winter,
those intense horses were the blood
the rhythm, the inciting treasure of life.
I looked. I looked and was reborn:
for there, unknowing, was the fountain,
the dance of gold, heaven
and the fire that lives in beauty.
I have forgotten that dark Berlin winter.
I will not forget the light of the horses.

The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

Not Only the Eskimos
by Lisel Mueller

Not only the Eskimos
 We have only one noun
 but as many different kinds:
 the grainy snow of the Puritans
 and snow of soft, fat flakes,

 guerrilla snow, which comes in the night
 and changes the world by morning,

 rabbinical snow, a permanent skullcap
 on the highest mountains,

 snow that blows in like the Lone Ranger,
 riding hard from out of the West,

 surreal snow in the Dakotas,
 when you can't find your house, your street,
 though you are not in a dream
 or a science-fiction movie,

 snow that tastes good to the sun
 when it licks black tree limbs,
 leaving us only one white stripe,
 a replica of a skunk,

 unbelievable snows:
 the blizzard that strikes on the tenth of April,
 the false snow before Indian summer,
 the Big Snow on Mozart's birthday,
 when Chicago became the Elysian Fields
 and strangers spoke to each other,

 paper snow, cut and taped,
 to the inside of grade-school windows,

 in an old tale, the snow
 that covers a nest of strawberries,
 small hearts, ripe and sweet,
 the special snow that goes with Christmas,
 whether it falls or not,

 the Russian snow we remember
 along with the warmth and smell of furs,
 though we have never traveled
 to Russia or worn furs,

 Villon's snows of yesteryear,
 lost with ladies gone out like matches,
 the snow in Joyce's "The Dead,"
 the silent, secret snow
 in a story by Conrad Aiken,
 which is the snow of first love,

 the snowfall between the child
 and the spacewoman on TV,

 snow as idea of whiteness,
 as in snowdrop, snow goose, snowball bush,

 the snow that puts stars in your hair,
 and your hair, which has turned to snow,

 the snow Elinor Wylie walked in
 in velvet shoes,

 the snow before her footprints
 and the snow after,

 the snow in the back of our heads,
 whiter than white, which has to do
 with childhood again each year.

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—

(Next week Susan’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Awakening)


  1. Winter has come early this year. I'm looking out my window at lots of snow and typing with frozen fingers.

  2. A wonderful prompt, Sumana, which is taking me back to teenage mornings in winter......


  3. Hi all, I'm covering for our dear Sumana today because she is feeling ill, and also her computer has been eating her poems--even today's! She'll be here as soon as she is able.

    Rest well, Sumana, and feel better. Thank you for this stimulating prompt.

    1. I've heard from Sumana--she's on to the next stage of ill, seems a little better, but her laptop isn't opening.

      Sending you carefree ease, Sumana. Thank you for checking in. Feel better very soon.

  4. Oh Sumana, rest well. I hope you feel better soon. Susan, how lovely of you to step in. On the West Coast it is another sunny, mild day. But the prompt took me back to a cold I remember well.

  5. Hello Sumana, Susan and Poets,

    It's beginning to feel like winter is arriving, with each day becomming a little bit colder and darker.
    It was easy to consider this great prompt this week!
    Get well soon Sumana.
    Have a good week, Eileen

  6. Forgive me for sitting this one out, friends. With the extreme heat and fires here, I can't summon up any wintry imagery just now! (Particularly as, where I live, winters aren't so markedly different from other seasons. No snow or anything like that.)

  7. I am here late to read and comment. Feel better soon Sumana!

  8. Hi Susan, Thanks for covering the prompt. I hope Sumana feels better soon.

  9. An apt prompt for me, as we just got 9 inches. I'll be back this afternoon to comment around.

  10. Hello all- We don't have typical winters here in AZ, but I do love the season. Have a marvelous rest of the week! And Sumana, I hope you are feeling better.


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