In the midst of a long winter it’s very tempting to casually abandon our Beekman 1802 Creed to live each season to its fullest.   But without the pale pallete of winter, we could not, would not, should not lust for the colors of Spring.

I decided to look for a few lines of poetry to reaffirm that there’s beauty and inspiration to be found even when blinded by the white.

Dust of Snow by Robert Frost

The way a crow

Shook down on me

The dust of snow

From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart

A change of mood

And saved some part

Of a day I had rued.

Frost by Valerie Bloom

Overnight, a giant spilt icing sugar on the ground,

He spilt it in the hedgerows, and the trees without a sound,

He made a wedding-cake of the haystack in the field,

He dredged the countryside and the grass was all concealed,

He sprinkled sugar on the roofs, in patches not too neat,

And in the morning when we woke, the world around was sweet.


Spring Mischief by Michael Whaling

Underground splashing, a steady hollow gurgle under glassy bubble ice and this winter’s snow

Uneven at first, and then the steady rhythm of the search for downhill water always takes the easy way

Especially when no one is watching

A wet glimpse as it flashes in the sunlight, winding under the rocks and edge of a roadside ditch or cut in the woods near you

Times may vary depending on lots of things


Feel free to share your favorite winter poem.  Help us make it through the next month!

by Dr. Brent

Reader Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Kathryn Plank

And since we're already moving from snow to early spring mud, here's another from Williams that's perfect for this time of year:

Spring and All

By the road to the contagious hospital

under the surge of the blue

mottled clouds driven from the

northeast—a cold wind. Beyond, the

waste of broad, muddy fields

brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water

the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish

purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy

stuff of bushes and small trees

with dead, brown leaves under them

leafless vines—

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish

dazed spring approaches—

They enter the new world naked,

cold, uncertain of all

save that they enter. All about them

the cold, familiar wind—

Now the grass, tomorrow

the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined—

It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of

entrance—Still, the profound change

has come upon them: rooted they

grip down and begin to awaken

Reply
Kathryn Plank

I know I'm late posting here, but I've been catching up on your blogs, and had to add a couple of winter poems by my favorite, William Carlos Williams. I wrote my dissertation on him, but it's been a while since I read him, so this was a nice treat to go back and reread these poems. (WCW was an MD as well, so he's particularly fitting to add to your blog.)

Winter Trees

All the complicated details

of the attiring and

the disattiring are completed!

A liquid moon

moves gently among

the long branches.

Thus having prepared their buds

against a sure winter

the wise trees

stand sleeping in the cold.

***

Approach of Winter

The half-stripped trees

struck by a wind together,

bending all,

the leaves flutter drily

and refuse to let go

or driven like hail

stream bitterly out to one side

and fall

where the salvias, hard carmine–

like no leaf that ever was–

edge the bare garden.

Reply
Jennie

This poem is from a lovely little tome circa 1965 called Snow-Bound And Other Poems, by John Greenleaf Whittier The Peter Pauper Press, Mount Vernon, NY

The sweetest illustrations are also in this small book, a gift from a friend in Florida of all places!

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky

Arrives the snow; and driving o'er the fields,

Seems nowhere to alight; the whited air

Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,

And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.

The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet

Delayed, all the friends shut out, the housemates sit

Around the radiant fireplace, inclosed

In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

EMERSON, The Snow-Storm.

Reply
teri tighe

Brent, after visiting Sharon Springs this past weekend and reading your recent interview about the suicide rate in that area, I can only imagine how you feel during the winters, up there. I'm sure they are beyond beautiful but it would take a mighty strong person to come away with their sanity in tact after a long winter.

My hat goes off to you, my friend.

Reply
Alexandra Kruse

I recently discovered your show (I have no idea how I missed it originally) and after one episode (ok, 5 minutes to be honest) – I was hooked. I live not far from you, in the Town of Glen (head east on Rte. 20) and would be thrilled to purchase some of your soaps. I see you have different scents, is there someplace I can go to sample? I'm a photographer – the first thing I noticed about this page was the photographs. Brent, did you take them? If you see a woman in a silver Jetta pulled over and taking pictures from afar of your beautiful home, it will be just me. No stalker, just an admirer and fan. Have a fabulous Christmas and kiss Polka Spot for me!

Reply
Rose

It was great seeing you at the Taste of Home Show in Vernon. And I was so happy that you remembered me from my recipe I submitted and the fact that you rememberd I have two goats. I loved your poems and as you do, I cherish every season. I often hear so many complain about living in upstate New York..its too cold, winters are horrible…so on. I love the changes of the season. Every season brings special memories and feelings. Because of you and Josh you've inspired me to get back to what's important. My land, gardening, harvesting everything I've grown. I've always loved it but you both have shown me how amazing it really is. Thank you for sharing the pics and poems…put me a great mood today. And you did mention that you put Chritmas pines in with the goats. Is it okay for them to nibble on the needles? I must decorate their home…they are my Divas and need to be treated that way!!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Reply
Becky

I just finished The Bucolic Plague sniff sniff and had ordered soap n cheese, but had to say how much I want u to succeed. Everything about ur lives is what we all really want. Pure food, simple lives (lots of work for that) and love. I hope I can visit and meet you both. We'd hav a blast.

Gotta send love xoxoxo from Indy Becky

Reply
Anthony Stahl

Hi Brent:

I love the color of the trim and fireplace mantel in the living room. What shade of blue is that, and who makes it?

Thanks…..

Reply
Janice Mahon

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening is my favorite Robert Frost poem. And after six feet of snow this past February here in central Maryland, it is still my favorite poem.

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 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.

Doesn't get more beautiful than this! Thanks for letting me post.

Reply
Connie Wedding

I loved "Dust if Snow" and "Frost"! Wow! Thanks so much for sharing those, Brent! Beautiful!

Reply
Connie Wedding

Dreaming

A warm and cheery fire roars merrily

and shadows dance about the darkened room.

Beside the hearth a gardener sits and dreams

of sunny days, of flowers in full bloom.

Some Hollyhocks should tower near the fence,

bright red ones that the bees can't help but find.

The trellis at the gate again must wear

blue Morning Glories, or the rosy kind.

To lend a bit of distance to the scene,

close to the rear I'll plant in shades of blue:

the tall and stately Larkspur, double ones-

Of course I'll put in Scabiosa, too.

I couldn't do without a pansy bed-

Snapdragons make such beautiful bouquets-

Frilled Zinnias and yellow Marigolds

Add just the proper touch to autumn days.

The flowers grow and bloom with loveliness

until a sound destroys the fantasy-

A burning ember falls and I must leave

my garden and my charming reverie.

Reply
Lynna Sauerhagen

My favorite winter poem is one that I used to read to my children before bed time. I don't know the author but if anyone recognizes it feel free to take credit for it.

"Snow makes whiteness where it falls,

The bushes look like popcorn balls,

The places where i always play

look like somewhere else today."

Reply
Carla Fenn

Beautiful pics…I've been to Cherry Valley and vacinity a few times but never in Winter…not yet, anyway.Autumn has always been my fav but these images are wonderful. I just finished Josh's book, TBP, and how nice it would have been to have read it, curled up in front of a crackling fire with the snow on the windowsill. luv it!! Carla

Reply
Ken

That frost looks like mini Holiday trees! Another great post!

Just the thing to see on a hot humid Chicago day! Been watching the show and have enjoyed the progress you and Josh are making in Life and on the farm…

Should I go over to Josh's blog and leave a comment just to be fair?? 🙂

Reply
Roxanne

I enjoyed seeing you and Josh on Martha. Have really missed reading your weekly blogs but I can see that you both have been really busy. Will be definitely watching the new program. Best Of Luck – I am sure it will be a great success!

Reply
Lori Baker

Wow, Just saw you on Martha. You two are a hoot and I will watch your new program. Now, off to make sticky buns, oh joy! Thanks for being so great <3

Reply
John

Here is one of my favorite poems, Edna St. Vincent Millay's "The Buck in the Snow." I find it a very quiet poem and strangely comforting.

"White sky, over the hemlocks bowed with snow,

Saw you not at the beginning of the evening the antlered buck and his doe

Standing in the apple-orchard? I saw them. I saw them suddenly go,

Tails up, with long leaps lovely and slow,

Over the stone-wall into the wood of hemlocks bowed with snow.

Now lies he here, his wild blood scalding the snow.

How strange a thing is death, bringing to his knees, bringing to

his antlers

The buck in the snow.

How strange a thing,-a mile away by now, it may be,

Under the heavy hemlocks that as the moments pass

Shift their loads a little, letting fall a feather of snow–

Life, looking out attentive from the eyes of the doe.

Reply
linda

Not exactly a poem, but writings from Hal Borland "Sundial of the Seasons" ….

"And you feel the indefinable pulse of March, a slowly rising beat that touches the hillside and the woodland and stirs at the root of things. It is like feeling your own pulse again, your own growing strength; and you know that March, no matter what its day-to-day temperament, is a good time to know again, a good time to be alive."

Just how I felt the other day when the red-winged blackbird announced his presence in a tree above me…..

Reply
Elaine

Hi, Dr. Brent. What beautiful photos and poems.

This is one of my new favorite March poems:

March Wind by Dorothy Louise Thomas

Tonight the wind is a force to fear,

A wild thing, running free,

A giant, unfettered, who walks abroad

On some grim deviltry.

The stoutest walls will quake tonight,

The tightest shutters swing;

Crevice and cranny will echo the sound

Of his fitful blustering.

Happy the homes where on the hearth

The flames rise, quick and clear,

To meet the challenge, chimney-borne,

To still the heart's vague fear.

All that we cherish most on earth

Is symbolized by that rich glow,

Home, and the sheltering arms of love,

The dearest dreams we know.

The wind may hurl his burly strength

Against the door, the pane.

Where home is warm, and the hearthfire bright,

He beats, he shouts, in vain.

Reply
Cynthia at icarevill

Beautiful images and poems.It reminds me not only of the season but of the winter time of our lives. Sometimes it feels like society only sees the beauty of youth and spring and yet there is tremendous beauty in aging as well.

Reply