Winter Frost and light!

As December goes by, with  the most beautiful  full moon in the starry sky and  the chilly nights urge me to read poetry more than ever before! It has been really hard for me on what to decide to post as the last post for 2015. Poems I used to love reading are always on my mind but there are countless of poems written for winter and especially for December month. I had to go back and think of those December Frosty months, when various issues had overtaken joy or even the times when  exuberant joy had brought spring earlier at Christmas time. I hope my chosen poems to keep you company till the coming of 2016, for which I wish you all the best, having your Heart’s desires fulfilled!

Robert Burns is my favourite poet whose work I love tremendously, his poem “A Dirge” is the number one in my list: 

The wintry west extends his blast,

And hail and rain does blaw;

Or the stormy north sends driving forth
The blinding sleet and snaw:
While, tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
And roars frae bank to brae;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
And pass the heartless day.

“The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,”
The joyless winter day
Let others fear, to me more dear
Than all the pride of May:
The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul,
My griefs it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine!

Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme
These woes of mine fulfil,
Here firm I rest; they must be best,
Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want—O do Thou grant
This one request of mine!—
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
Assist me to resign.

William Butler Yeats and his poem “The Cold Heaven” is my number 2, it is taken from Responsibilities and Other Poems,1916:
Suddenly I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven

That seemed as though ice burned and was but the more ice,
And thereupon imagination and heart were driven
So wild that every casual thought of that and this
Vanished, and left but memories, that should be out of season
With the hot blood of youth, of love crossed long ago;
And I took all the blame out of all sense and reason,
Until I cried and trembled and rocked to and fro,
Riddled with light. Ah! when the ghost begins to quicken,
Confusion of the death-bed over, is it sent
Out naked on the roads, as the books say, and stricken
By the injustice of the skies for punishment?

 

George Meredith and “Winter Heavens” is my  number 3:

Sharp is the night, but stars with frost alive

Leap off the rim of earth across the dome.
It is a night to make the heavens our home
More than the nest whereto apace we strive.
Lengths down our road each fir-tree seems a hive,
In swarms outrushing from the golden comb.
They waken waves of thoughts that burst to foam:
The living throb in me, the dead revive.
Yon mantle clothes us: there, past mortal breath,
Life glistens on the river of the death.
It folds us, flesh and dust; and have we knelt,
Or never knelt, or eyed as kine the springs
Of radiance, the radiance enrings:
And this is the soul’s haven to have felt.

Robert Frost and “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening ” is my number 4

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  and “Snow-Flakes” is my number 5 

Out of the bosom of the Air
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.

John Keats “In Drear-Nighted December” is my number 6:

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne’er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.

In drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook,
Thy bubblings ne’er remember
Apollo’s summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting
About the frozen time.

Ah! would ’twere so with man

A gentle girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy?
The feel of not to feel it,
When there is none to heal it
Nor numbed sense to steel it,
Was never said in rhyme.

Ruth Hill “Land of Long Shadows” is my number 7: 
Lingering, lengthening, lavender shadows
softly sadden the snow.
Rowdy clouds and swirling flurries:
shadows slide ’cross slithering drifts.
The sun crawls around the low horizon,
drip-torching flames.
Inuit stalk Inukshuk statues,
their black and white parkas
eclipsing the horizon flares.
A tiny silhouetted sapling,
whipping in the winter wind,
makes a mile-long shadow,
across the creek, over the clearing,
and far into the woods.
In the shadow of faraway mountains,
slate blue flares pink, then fades.
Deep trails flood and fill
with violet blue.
Sunny valley bottoms
are squeezed up into the starry sky,
until all the shadows touch,
and the world is still.

Girl and boy!
But were there ever any
Writhed not at passed joy?
The feel of not to feel it,
When there is none to heal it
Nor numbed sense to steel it,
Was never said in rhyme.

 

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