You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘poetry’ tag.

In the Bleak Midwinter
by Christina Rosetti

(from hymns and carols of Christmas)

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Jesus Christ.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

A Winter Wish
By Robert Hinckley Messinger
(from bartleby.com)

OLD wine to drink!
Ay, give the slippery juice
That drippeth from the grape thrown loose
Within the tun;
Plucked from beneath the cliff 5
Of sunny-sided Teneriffe,
And ripened ’neath the blink
Of India’s sun!
Peat whiskey hot,
Tempered with well-boiled water! 10
These make the long night shorter,—
Forgetting not
Good stout old English porter.
Old wood to burn!
Ay, bring the hill-side beech 15
From where the owlets meet and screech,
And ravens croak;
The crackling pine, and cedar sweet;
Bring too a clump of fragrant peat,
Dug ’neath the fern; 20
The knotted oak,
A fagot too, perhap,
Whose bright flame, dancing, winking,
Shall light us at our drinking;
While the oozing sap 25
Shall make sweet music to our thinking.
Old books to read!
Ay, bring those nodes of wit,
The brazen-clasped, the vellum writ,
Time-honored tomes! 30
The same my sire scanned before,
The same my grandsire thumbed o’er,
The same his sire from college bore,
The well-earned meed
Of Oxford’s domes: 35
Old Homer blind,
Old Horace, rake Anacreon, by
Old Tully, Plautus, Terence lie;
Mort Arthur’s olden minstrelsie,
Quaint Burton, quainter Spenser, ay! 40
And Gervase Markham’s venerie—
Nor leave behind
The holye Book by which we live and die.
Old friends to talk!
Ay, bring those chosen few, 45
The wise, the courtly, and the true,
So rarely found;
Him for my wine, him for my stud,
Him for my easel, distich, bud
In mountain walk! 50
Bring Walter good,
With soulful Fred, and learned Will,
And thee, my alter ego (dearer still
For every mood).
These add a bouquet to my wine! 55
These add a sparkle to my pine!
If these I tine,
Can books, or fire, or wine be good?

A long and wonderful day. Got the tree, got some lights up. More tomorrow.

Winter

William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

WHEN icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail;
When blood is nipt, and ways be foul       5
Then nightly sings the staring owl
Tu-whoo!
To-whit, Tu-whoo! A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all about the wind doth blow,       10
And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian’s nose looks red and raw;
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl—
Then nightly sings the staring owl        15
Tu-whoo!
To-whit, Tu-whoo! A merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

(from Bartleby.com)

This is day 1 of an Advent lectionary we’re putting together this year. I’ve got a few readings that I definitely want to include but will be looking for good stuff to put in it if anyone has any ideas.

Last year, about this time (maybe a few weeks or a month from now, to be honest), I believe I made up a tune and sang this one to Violet when she was in her deep struggling to sleep days. Nowadays, she still fights it, but at least you can sit down.

I love poems about winter. Especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas, I tend to get a little wrapped up in the bustle of the season, which is nice in its own way, but the thing I have always loved about winter is the boarding up of the house, the heading indoors, the feeling that the song “Let it Snow” captures so well, of being safe from the storm with the people you love. It’s the opposite and equal of the feeling on the first warm day of Spring, where you cross your threshold in a short-sleeve shirt for the first time and the balmy gust fairly launches you out into the world, like an impulse-driven coaster, ready to kick shoes on sidewalk and hit the ground running.

Winter has the feeling of needing to brace yourself for the outdoors, and the ritualistic girding with hats and scarves and coats and gloves, or the mighty sprint to the mailbox and back, thoroughly underdressed–both carry with them the wonderful feeling that the out of doors is relevant again after being a sea of lukewarmness for a lovely long time.

Here’s wishing all y’all happy holidays of whatever variety you enjoy.