A Flurry of Winter Poems

By Carolyn Coons
A stone bridge over a pond in the snow

Photo by Fabio Fistarol via Unsplash

Winter looks quite different depending on where you live – a good friend of mine in Minneapolis, MN, has been trudging through inches of snow for weeks. Meanwhile, here in Washington, D.C., it’s barely dropped below 40 degrees this fall. That may be why I gravitate towards poems that contain snowy imagery. Snow is so often associated with wintertime, yet there are huge swaths of the United States that don’t experience it at all, and others that get to enjoy it (or complain about) for a good chunk of the year. I’m hoping I’ll get to see at least a a few snowflakes this winter, which officially began yesterday for the Northern Hemisphere!

Whether your community is filled with snow banks or balmy sunshine, we hope you enjoy this collection of wintery poems. Be sure to click the link beneath the image to read the full poem. 

In the winter all the singing is in the tops of the trees where the wind-bird with its white eyes shoves and pushes among the branches

"In winter/ all the singing is in/ the tops of the trees/ where the wind-bird// with its white eyes/ shoves and pushes/ among the branches." From "White-Eyes" by Mary Oliver 

In my coat I sit At the window sill Wintering with snow That did not melt

"In my coat I sit/ At the window sill/ Wintering with snow/ That did not melt" From "The Dead of Winter" by Samuel Menashe

There's a certain Slant of light, Winter Afternoons –  That oppresses, like the Heft Of Cathedral Tunes –

"There's a certain Slant of light,/ Winter Afternoons –/ That oppresses,/ like the Heft Of Cathedral Tunes –" From "There's a certain Slant of light (258)" by Emily Dickinson

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.

"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." Complete poem, "Dust of Snow" by Robert Frost

Hairy looking trees stand out in long alleys over a wild solitude. The man turns and there — his solitary track stretched out upon the world.

"Hairy looking trees stand out/ in long alleys/ over a wild solitude./ The man turns and there/ — his solitary track/ stretched out upon the world." From "Blizzard" by William Carlos Williams

Some day, when trees have shed their leaves     And against the morning’s white The shivering birds beneath the eaves     Have sheltered for the night,

"Some day, when trees have shed their leaves/ And against the morning’s white/ The shivering birds beneath the eaves/ Have sheltered for the night,/ We’ll turn our faces southward, love,/ Toward the summer isle" From "After the Winter" by Claude McKay