Weekend Words: Winter (2014 Edition)

Gustave Caillebotte, “Snow-Covered Roofs in Paris” (1878), oil on canvas, 64 x 82 cm (Musée d’Orsay, Paris) (image via Web Gallery of Art)

A year ago, Weekend Words gave winter its due. After the week we’ve had, a revisit seemed in order, this time an all-poetry tribute:

“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.”

—Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man” (1921)

“The ways deep, the weather sharp, the days short, the sun farthest off in solstitio burial, the very dead of Winter.”

Ode of the Nativity (1622)

“How like winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings I have felt, what dark days seen!
What old December’s bareness everywhere!

—William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 97” (1609)

“The English winter—ending in July,
To recommence in August.”

—Lord Byron, Don Juan (1819)

“Ah, woe is me! Winter is come and gone,
But grief returns with the revolving year.”

—Percy Bysshe Shelley, Adonais (1821)

“In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago.”

—Christina Rossetti, “Mid-Winter” (1862)

“For winter’s rains and ruins are over,
And all the seasons of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.”

—Algernon Charles Swinburne, Atalanta in Calydon (1865)

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