Greetings bookish folks! I know some of you are down because October has come to a close and Halloween is, once again, a thing of the past. It’s another month and celebration gone. But this is a marathon and you can’t slow down now.
With November here, have you noticed a slight chill in the air? Does the wind brush leaves past your feet when you open the front door? Do you find yourself wearing that one scarf that smells so familiar? I’ve noticed November is the month that starts all the magical buzz for the holiday season. Something is coming and people pick up their pace to grab a hold of it all. I’m seeing all the Christmas commercials beginning with flashes of red and gold and I’m as excited as ever! Who doesn’t want to decorate the tree, enjoy delicious dishes, and spend time laughing with your loved ones? Even winter snow is starting to sound charming; nothing beats a quiet nighttime snowfall.
Now, if you’re feeling a little low on spirit I’ve got something that may help. Below are eight poems and a few of their lines that have given me that old, familiar holiday and winter feeling. The smell of cookies, pine, and icing is really all you’ll need to live for the next few weeks… Well not really, but that and these poems should sure make you feel something magical.
1. “Thanksgiving” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
If you love sentimentality, these verses will hug you with the warmth of passing memories as the chill sets in.
There’s not a day in all the year
But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
To brim the past’s wide measure
2. “Holidays” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This poem makes you realize in moments of quiet solitude that the time we spend with loved ones are the most magical of all.
The happy days unclouded to their close;
The sudden joys that out of darkness start
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wing that blows!
Image Via Unsplash by Kacper Szczechla
3. “Before The Ice Is In The Pools” by Emily Dickinson
Dickinson perfectly captures the chill in the air and the hesitance to let go of the old in order to embrace the new.
Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me!
4. “Horses in Snow” by Roberta Hill
Captivating details are laced throughout each line of Hill’s work- she grasps the essence of winter and the mysterious freedom that belongs to each stallion and mare. This is truly one of my favorites.
The colt kicked his hind, loped from the fence.
The mares and a stallion galloped behind,
lifting and leaping, finding each other
in full accord with the earth and their bodies
Image Via Hedweb
5. “Ice” by Gail Mazur
Everyone has their own story amongst the deep blue twilight of December, even a little girl whose only desire is to skate.
A Franklin stove keeps the place so cozy
it’s hard to imagine why anyone would leave,
clumping across the frozen beach to the river.
December’s always the same at Ware’s Cove
6. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost
Frost’s words are so lovely that the story of a long and brisk trek may actually bring you warmth on even the snowiest of evenings.
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
Image Via Design Trends
7. “Beyond the Red River” by Thomas McGrath
Here, we must let go of warm tides and lazy afternoons to take the hand of snowy drifts and frosted trees that line our path. Listen carefully to what the falling snow has to say.
The birds have flown their summer skies to the south,
And the flower-money is drying in the banks of bent grass
Which the bumble bee has abandoned. We wait for a winter lion,
Body of ice-crystals and sombrero of dead leaves
8. “Mad As The Mist And Snow” by William Butler Yeats
This may raise your wonder to imagine if history’s greatest poets and philosophers, or even any writer, were as mad as the whipping winds of winter, as mad as the mist and snow.
Bolt and bar the shutter,
For the foul winds blow:
Our minds are at their best this night
And I seem to know
That everything outside us is
Mad as the mist and snow
These poems come alive in many forms for every reader. Are they memories of winters past, spent by warm lights and deep nights? A special gathering with people you hold safely inside a memory bank? Perhaps you imagine a place you’ve never even been to, but wish you could go, even just once. It’s funny and bewildering how these poems could capture the whisper of a snowfall on a quiet street or the simple joy of sitting by the twinkling tree with family. Let these simple verses lead you into the charm and chill that only the glimmer of winter could bring.
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Feature Image Via Deviant Art