Poem Sampler

Winter Poems

Perfect for snowy days and long nights by the fire.
By The Editors
Detail of "Winter Fire" by Sara Katz

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 97: 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 Bysshe 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
       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 13th, 2006
  1. December 22, 2006

    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.

  2. January 20, 2007
     Alissa duBois

    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

  3. February 19, 2007

    Great selection, but what about Wallace Stevens' Snowman? That's the poem I think of when I've been cold a long time.

  4. August 4, 2007
     Asher Bass Proschansky

    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

  5. September 6, 2007
     Elaine Clevinger

    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.....

  6. January 4, 2008

    this is a great poetry site

  7. January 25, 2008

    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.

  8. August 9, 2008

    Patricia - it is a Frances Cornford poem. I memorized it in grade 4, 1975. Still remember most of it.

  9. February 11, 2010

    I love all the beautiful pictures,and winter poems.

  10. December 11, 2010
     Jean Chapman Snow

    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!


  11. December 11, 2010
     Shahabuddin Nagari

    Winter's cold could give us some heat in these poems. it's a good collection of Poetry Foundation. I have enjoyed a lot.

  12. December 15, 2010

    Am I reading hastily or did you omit "The Snow-Storm" by Ralph Waldo Emerson?

  13. December 16, 2010
     Russ Hansen

    Touching, funny, evocative, this site is wonderful company.

  14. January 31, 2012
     Mary Sayler, The Poetry Editor

    Lovely collection for warming up readers to poetry :)

  15. November 23, 2012
     Kitty Hayes

    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."?

  16. December 4, 2012

    I've read better poems written by my husband. He's a lot more talented then all the poets on this thing...

  17. December 7, 2013
     Desiree Florence

    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.

  18. January 23, 2016
     Vincent Kamin

    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!