Poem Sampler

Winter Poems

Perfect for snowy days and long nights by the fire.

by The Editors
Winter Poems
Original illustration by Mark McGinnis.

The Curtain by Hayden Carruth
Just over the horizon a great machine of death is roaring and rearing
We can hear it always. Earthquake, starvation, the ever-renewing sun of corpse-flesh.

The Snow is Deep on the Ground by Kenneth Patchen
The snow is deep on the ground.
Always the light falls
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd.

Sonnet XCVII: How like a Winter hath my Absence been by William Shakespeare
How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!

Winter Love by Linda Gregg
I would like to decorate this silence,
but my house grows only cleaner

Lines: The Cold Earth Slept Below by Percy Shelley
The cold earth slept below;
Above the cold sky shone;

White-Eyes by Mary Oliver
In winter
all the singing is in
the tops of the trees

Crossing the Square by Grace Schulman
Squinting through eye-slits in our balaclavas,
we lurch across Washington Square Park

Winter Trees by William Carlos Williams
All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!

Choices by Tess Gallagher
Suddenly, in every tree,
an unseen nest
where a mountain
would be.

Horses in Snow by Roberta Hill Whiteman
Lips touching lips,
did that break my horizon
as much as those horses broke my belief?

The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy
I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;

Blizzard by William Carlos Williams
years of anger following
hours that float idly down —

Ice by Gail Mazur
In the warming house, children lace their skates,
bending, choked, over their thick jackets.

A Winter Daybreak Above Vence by James Wright
The night’s drifts
Pile up below me and behind my back,

Beyond the Red River by Thomas McGrath
The birds have flown their summer skies to the south,
And the flower-money is drying in the banks of bent grass

After Apple Picking by Robert Frost
My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,

February by Margaret Atwood
Winter. Time to eat fat
and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,

February Evening in New York by Denise Levertov
As the stores close, a winter light
opens air to iris blue,

Late February by Ted Kooser
The first warm day,
and by mid-afternoon
the snow is no more
than a washing
strewn over the yards,

Originally Published: December 13, 2006


On December 22, 2006 at 12:54pm alyssa wrote:
Thank you for your generosity in providing these poems for public use. I am forming a collection of poems for my family and my father, who is ill, to read during these holidays. I will share some of the pieces you have made available here with them. And they lead me to want to read more of some of the authors...so, I hope we all benefit.

On January 20, 2007 at 10:25am Alissa duBois wrote:
A search for poems to express this soft gray day winter day led me to the pleasure of this site, and the additional coincidence of a single comment from a woman with a name so similiar to mine. A chance encounter of words and needs. Thank you for the pleasures, Alissa

On February 18, 2007 at 2:13pm KdKa wrote:
Great selection, but what about Wallace Stevens' Snowman? That's the poem I think of when I've been cold a long time.

On August 3, 2007 at 4:39pm Asher Bass Proschansky wrote:
by Asher Proschansky

Oh wondrous practitioners
Who ply the same trade
year in and out
And never tire
Would that I be
Cunning, subtle, and smooth
Crafty and ultimately purposeful
As you
But before I settle down
I move or am moved around
On to something new
And I no long kid myself
It is not in the cards
My fate to roam
And help ignite a new spark
Whose full fire
Will warm others, not me,
who maintain the fire
And grow it
Laboring over it as though
It be an eternal flame
while I’m being ushered
quietly out of the circus
tent’s back door and into
the coldest of nights,
wondering why and wherein lies
my next mission,
searching for it among the stars
and in the howl of the midnight wind
and in the faces of established craftsmen
but lest I deceive you
I am the nomad
and the chilling fresh air
at the circus tent’s back door
is my greatest relief
a catalyst should not
get consumed by the reaction
even if he at times entertains
wishful but false notions
that he is a necessary ingredient

On September 6, 2007 at 1:54pm Elaine Clevinger wrote:
I'm looking for a poem When the Snow is on the Ground ....A Mother Goose Thyme. I'm having difficulty locating the poem. Can you assist me as I'm needing the poem for my classroom. Thanks.....

On January 4, 2008 at 8:18am amanda wrote:
this is a great poetry site

On January 24, 2008 at 4:54pm patricia wrote:
Am trying to find a poem that my mother taught me as a child.I don't know who it is by and all I can remember is;

On moony nights when dogs bark shrill

Down the valley and up the hill

There's one who's angry to behold,

The Moon,so unafraid and cold.

Who makes the Earth as bright as day

But yet unhappy, dead and grey.

Another in his strawy lair,says,

"Who's a howling over there?"

"By Heaven I will stop him soon,

from interfering with our Moon".

So back he barks with throat upthrown,

"You leave our Moon,our Moon alone".

And other distant dogs respond,

Beyond the fields,beyond,beyond.

Noone but me seems to have heard of it ,so any help would be greatly appreciated.

On August 8, 2008 at 9:36pm Brent wrote:
Patricia - it is a Frances Cornford poem. I memorized it in grade 4, 1975. Still remember most of it.

On February 10, 2010 at 5:17pm allison wrote:
I love all the beautiful pictures,and winter poems.

On December 10, 2010 at 5:38pm Jean Chapman Snow wrote:
Thank you! Thank you! I love receiving this newsletter with so many wonderful poems I remember and so many wonderful new ones.
Thanks also to Patricia for the Frances Cornford poem about the dogs barking at the moon. Sheer delight!


On December 11, 2010 at 8:15am Shahabuddin Nagari wrote:
Winter's cold could give us some heat in these poems. it's a good collection of Poetry Foundation. I have enjoyed a lot.

On December 14, 2010 at 3:01pm dylan wrote:
Am I reading hastily or did you omit "The Snow-Storm" by Ralph Waldo Emerson?

On December 16, 2010 at 5:54am Russ Hansen wrote:
Touching, funny, evocative, this site is wonderful company.

On January 31, 2012 at 10:14am Mary Sayler, The Poetry Editor wrote:
Lovely collection for warming up readers to poetry :)

On November 23, 2012 at 11:45am Kitty Hayes wrote:
And how about Snowbound? "the sun that brief December day rose cheerless over hills of gray and darkly circled gave at noon a sadder light than waning moon."?

On December 3, 2012 at 4:13pm Lejla wrote:
I've read better poems written by my husband. He's a lot more talented then all the poets on this thing...

On December 6, 2013 at 7:06pm Desiree Florence wrote:
You guys need to add a poem by Ralph Black called "The Muses of
Farewell." A winter poem that breaks the mold. Look it up.

On January 23, 2016 at 7:22am Vincent Kamin wrote:
Poems were a real balm when the
sudden cold came just as all our
gifts were unwrapped, stars flew
overhead and hot coffee helped
warm the New Year!


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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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