Archives for posts with tag: winter poems

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JANUARY MORNING (Excerpt)
by William Carlos Williams

Long yellow rushes bending
above the white snow patches;
purple and gold ribbon
of the distant wood:
what an angle
you make with each other as
you lie there in contemplation.
***
Read “January Morning” by William Carlos Williams in its entirety at poemhunter.com.

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HAIKU
by Natsume Soseki

The crow has flown away;

swaying in the evening sun,

a leafless tree. 

Photo: Dark Wing, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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WINTER TREES
by William Carlos Williams

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

Photo: Leslie Main Johnson, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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THE DOUBTFUL GUEST
by Edward Gorey

When they answered the bell on that wild winter night,
There was no one expected – and no one in sight.
Then they saw something standing on top of an urn,
Whose peculiar appearance gave them quite a turn.
All at once it leapt down and ran into the hall,
Where it chose to remain with its nose to the wall.
It was seemingly deaf to whatever they said,
So at last they stopped screaming, and went off to bed.
It joined them at breakfast and presently ate
All the syrup and toast, and a part of a plate.
It wrenched off the horn from the new gramophone,
And could not be persuaded to leave it alone.
It betrayed a great liking for peering up flues,
And for peeling the soles of its white canvas shoes.
At times it would tear out whole chapters from books,
Or put roomfuls of pictures askew on their hooks.
Every Sunday it brooded and lay on the floor,
Inconveniently close to the drawing-room door.
Now and then it would vanish for hours from the scene,
But, alas, be discovered inside a tureen.
It was subject to fits of bewildering wrath,
During which it would hide all the towels from the bath.
In the night through the house it would aimlessly creep,
In spite of the fact of its being asleep.
It would carry off objects of which it grew fond,
And protect them by dropping them into the pond.
It came seventeen years ago – and to this day
It has shown no intention of going away.

© words and images by Edward Gorey 1957, 1985.

Find The Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey at Amazon.com.

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CROSSING THE SQUARE
by Grace Schulman

Squinting through eye-slits in our balaclavas,   
we lurch across Washington Square Park   
hunched against the wind, two hooded figures   
caught in the monochrome, carrying sacks
 
of fruit, as we’ve done for years. The frosted, starch-
stiff sycamores make a lean Christmas tree
seem to bulk larger, tilted under the arch
and still lit in three colors. Once in January,
 
we found a feather here and stuffed the quill   
in twigs to recall that jay. The musical fountain   
is here, its water gone, a limestone circle
now. Though rap succeeds the bluegrass strains
 
we’ve played in it, new praise evokes old sounds.   
White branches mimic visions of past storms;
some say they’ve heard ghosts moan above this ground,   
once a potter’s field. No two stones are the same,
 
of course: the drums, the tawny pears we hold,   
are old masks for new things. Still, in a world   
where fretted houses with façades are leveled   
for condominiums, not much has altered
 
here. At least it’s faithful to imagined
views. And, after all, we know the sycamore
will screen the sky in a receding wind.
Now, trekking home through grit that’s mounting higher,
 
faces upturned to test the whirling snow,
in new masks, we whistle to make breath-clouds form   
and disappear, and form again, and O,   
my love, there’s sun in the crook of your arm.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Grace Schulman is the author many acclaimed books of poetry, including Days of Wonder: New and Selected Poems (where “Crossing the Square” appears), a Library Journal Best Book of the Year. For her poetry she has received a Guggenheim fellowship, the Aiken-Taylor Award, the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award, New York University’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and three Pushcart prizes. Schulman is a distinguished professor of English at Baruch College, CUNY. She is a former director of the Poetry Center (1978-1984) and a former poetry editor of The Nation (1971-2006).

Photo: “Washington Square Park” (New York City, 1/26/2011) by Helen Jones Florio, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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HAIKU

by Natsume Soseki

The crow has flown away;

swaying in the evening sun,

a leafless tree. 

Photo: Dark Wing, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Image

JANUARY MORNING (Excerpt)

by William Carlos Williams

Long yellow rushes bending
above the white snow patches;
purple and gold ribbon
of the distant wood:
what an angle
you make with each other as
you lie there in contemplation.

Photo: Poet William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) with kittens. By training, William Carlos Williams was a medical doctor and often made house calls for sick children (he was a pediatrician). The photo with the kittens was probably taken during such a visit.

Image

THE DOUBTFUL GUEST

by Edward Gorey

When they answered the bell on that wild winter night,

There was no one expected – and no one in sight.

Then they saw something standing on top of an urn,

Whose peculiar appearance gave them quite a turn.

All at once it leapt down and ran into the hall,

Where it chose to remain with its nose to the wall.

It was seemingly deaf to whatever they said,

So at last they stopped screaming, and went off to bed.

It joined them at breakfast and presently ate

All the syrup and toast, and a part of a plate.

It wrenched off the horn from the new gramophone,

And could not be persuaded to leave it alone.

It betrayed a great liking for peering up flues,

And for peeling the soles of its white canvas shoes.

At times it would tear out whole chapters from books,

Or put roomfuls of pictures askew on their hooks.

Every Sunday it brooded and lay on the floor,

Inconveniently close to the drawing-room door.

Now and then it would vanish for hours from the scene,

But, alas, be discovered inside a tureen.

It was subject to fits of bewildering wrath,

During which it would hide all the towels from the bath.

In the night through the house it would aimlessly creep,

In spite of the fact of its being asleep.

It would carry off objects of which it grew fond,

And protect them by dropping them into the pond.

It came seventeen years ago – and to this day

It has shown no intention of going away.

© Edward Gorey 1957, 1985.

Image

CROSSING THE SQUARE

by Grace Schulman

Squinting through eye-slits in our balaclavas,   
we lurch across Washington Square Park   
hunched against the wind, two hooded figures   
caught in the monochrome, carrying sacks
 
of fruit, as we’ve done for years. The frosted, starch-
stiff sycamores make a lean Christmas tree
seem to bulk larger, tilted under the arch
and still lit in three colors. Once in January,
 
we found a feather here and stuffed the quill   
in twigs to recall that jay. The musical fountain   
is here, its water gone, a limestone circle
now. Though rap succeeds the bluegrass strains
 
we’ve played in it, new praise evokes old sounds.   
White branches mimic visions of past storms;
some say they’ve heard ghosts moan above this ground,   
once a potter’s field. No two stones are the same,
 
of course: the drums, the tawny pears we hold,   
are old masks for new things. Still, in a world   
where fretted houses with façades are leveled   
for condominiums, not much has altered
 
here. At least it’s faithful to imagined
views. And, after all, we know the sycamore
will screen the sky in a receding wind.
Now, trekking home through grit that’s mounting higher,
 
faces upturned to test the whirling snow,
in new masks, we whistle to make breath-clouds form   
and disappear, and form again, and O,   
my love, there’s sun in the crook of your arm.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Grace Schulman is the author many acclaimed books of poetry, including Days of Wonder: New and Selected Poems (where “Crossing the Square” appears), a Library Journal Best Book of the Year. For her poetry she has received a Guggenheim fellowship, the Aiken-Taylor Award, the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award, New York University’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and three Pushcart prizes. Schulman is a distinguished professor of English at Baruch College, CUNY. She is a former director of the Poetry Center (1978-1984) and a former poetry editor of The Nation (1971-2006).

Photo: “Washington Square Park” (New York City, 1/26/2011) by Helen Jones Florio, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Image

WINTER TREES

by William Carlos Williams

All the complicated details

of the attiring and

the disattiring are completed!

A liquid moon

moves gently among

the long branches.

Thus having prepared their buds

against a sure winter

the wise trees

stand sleeping in the cold.

Photo: Leslie Main Johnson, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED