Winter Solstice

By Hilda Morley 1916–1998 Hilda Morley
A cold night crosses
our path
                  The world appears
very large, very
round now       extending
far as the moon does
                                        It is from
the moon this cold travels
                                        It is
the light of the moon that causes
this night reflecting distance in its own
light so coldly
                                          (from one side of
the earth to the other)
                                        It is the length of this coldness
It is the long distance
between two points which are
not in a line        now
                                       not a
straightness       (however
straight) but a curve only,
silver that is a rock reflecting
                                                      not metal
but a rock accepting
distance
                     (a scream in silence
where between the two
points what touches
is a curve around the world
                                                      (the dance unmoving).
new york, 1969

Hilda Morley, "Winter Solstice" from To Hold in My Hand: Selected Poems, 1955-1983. Copyright © 1983 by Hilda Morley.  Reprinted by permission of The Sheep Meadow Press.

Source: To Hold in My Hand: Selected Poems, 1955-1983 (The Sheep Meadow Press, 1983)

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Poet Hilda Morley 1916–1998

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Black Mountain

Subjects Living, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Weather

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

"It is a shameful comment on our present-day literary situation that Hilda Morley's work has been largely neglected, that a great deal of it has gone unpublished, in spite of the author's productivity and her wide circle of acquaintance," declared Ralph J. Mills, Jr., in an issue of the literary journal Ironwood dedicated to Morley. Recognition for her poetic accomplishments came relatively late in life for Morley, according to . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Stars, Planets, Heavens, Weather

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD Black Mountain

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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