Friday, November 11, 2011


Dear Friends,
It's been a crazy week for me, stressful (more on this next post), and I have returned again and again to this little poem for comfort. I hope you love it as much as I do.
For more great poetry, don't forget to visit Roundup at Teaching Authors where the theme is thankfulness.

American Life in Poetry: Column 346

It seems to me that most poems are set in spring or summer, and I was pleased to discover this one by Molly Fisk, a Californian, set in cold midwinter.

Winter Sun
How valuable it is in these short days,
threading through empty maple branches,
the lacy-needled sugar pines.

Its glint off sheets of ice tells the story
of Death’s brightness, her bitter cold.

We can make do with so little, just the hint
of warmth, the slanted light.

The way we stand there, soaking in it,
mittened fingers reaching.

And how carefully we gather what we can
to offer later, in darkness, one body to another.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2010 by Molly Fisk from her most recent book of poetry, The More Difficult Beauty, Hip Pocket Press, 2010. Reprinted by permission of Molly Fisk and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2011 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: American Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. There are no costs for reprinting the columns; we do require that you register your publication here and that the text of the column be reproduced without alteration.
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  1. Sending you warm wishes for comfort, Irene! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Perfect photo for that poem! I do so LOVE Ted Kooser's emails to me!

  3. That is a beautiful poem, and perfect for the day. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Yes, the light is more precious now that that is less of it. Thank goodness for the sun. In summer we try to escape its heat, but in winter its warmth comforts us. Making do with slanted light is okay. Thanks for the lovely poem.


Your thoughts?