A poem in winter

From the Laudator temporis acti:

Wallace Stevens, The Snow Man:

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.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Liam says:

    Longfellow, 1864 (during the Civil War, in which he lost his son, giving rise to that other celebrated poem of his, I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day):

    Tis winter now; the fallen snow
    has left the heavens all coldly clear;
    through leafless boughs the sharp winds blow,
    and all the earth lies dead and drear.

    And yet God’s love is not withdrawn;
    his life within the keen air breathes;
    his beauty paints the crimson dawn,
    and clothes the boughs with glittering wreaths.

    And though abroad the sharp winds blow,
    and skies are chill, and frosts are keen,
    home closer draws her circle now,
    and warmer glows her light within.

    O God! who giv’st the winter’s cold
    as well as summer’s joyous rays,
    us warmly in thy love enfold,
    and keep us through life’s wintry days.

  2. gsk says:

    Now that’s a poem! If I had been standing in the cold for hours and someone read me that, I’d warm up a few degrees for the joy of it.

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