Friday, January 9, 2015

Wild Winter Poems

Hello, and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Music Maven, Swap Queen & Poetry Goddess Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference for Roundup. Her blog always inspires me!

Today's poem are on the theme of winter! SO COLD. I know many of you have experienced weather this week far more severe than here in Alabama, but really, below freezing day AND night? You know it's bad when I have to wear socks with my flip flops. :)

The first poem can be found in JULIE ANDREWS' TREASURY FOR ALL SEASONS, poems selected by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton, paintings by Marjorie Priceman.
The following two can be found in THE TREE THAT TIME BUILT, poems selected by Mary Ann Hoberman & Linda Winston.

You'll see that the first poem takes the "wild winter" theme in a fun, unique direction... and the others salute the winter wilds of the great outdoors.

Happy Winter, Steamy Tub
by Karen Gundersheimer

Happy Winter, steamy tub
To soak and splash in, wash and rub.
Big blobs of bubbles pile on me
The way the snow sits on a tree.
I rinse the soap off, scrub some more,
Drip puddles on the bathroom floor--
Then gurgling bubbles drain away,
A wet and merry end of day.

from March '79
by Tomas Transtromer, translated by Robert Bly

Being tired of people who come with words, but no speech,
I made my way to the snow-covered island.
The wild does not have words.
The pages free of handwriting stretched out on all sides!
I came upon the tracks of reindeer in the snow.
Speech but no words.

Something Told the Wild Geese
by Rachel Field

Something told the wild geese
It was time to go.
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered, -- "Snow."
Leaves were green, and stirring,
Berries, luster-glossed,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned, -- "Frost."
All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.
Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly, --
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.

Wishing everyone warmth & beauty (and bubble baths!) these winter days and nights!!


  1. Oh, this is the most perfect post for Buffalo today - we are home on a snow day! I love "speech with no words" and the other way around. And "Something Told the Wild Geese" always makes me want to sing it. The music teacher at my old school had the children perform it - have you ever heard the choral version? Here is one recording - Much warm gratitude! x, a.

  2. I love the 'socks with flip-flops' Irene. And all the poems are quite fitting. We seem to continually be on the 'edge' of the storms, cold but just a little snow. That middle poem is lovely, "The pages free of handwriting stretched out on all sides!" Love it! Thanks for the bubbly bath one too. New to me.

  3. What a great image: "Big blobs of bubbles pile on me
    The way the snow sits on a tree."

    "From March '79" is a poem that will stay with me. I love the quiet and mystery in these few lines.

  4. Excellent selection, Irene! Tomas Transtromer is an interesting poet. (His "Allegro" is one of my favorites!) You crack me up with your socked flip flops...

  5. Love these. Haven't seen that Karen Gundersheimer poem in ages. The Rachel Field poem is so evocative . . . :).

  6. Have always loved "Something Told the Wild Geese..." and THE TREE THAT TIME BUILT.
    I've been thinking of your WILD word for this year. Just settling into a long-overdue re-read of WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES by Clarissa Pinkola Estes - Did you ever read it? Methinks you must. "The wild nature carries the bundles for healing; she carries everything a woman needs to be and know.... She carries stories and dreams and words and songs and signs and symbols. She is both vehicle and destination."

  7. Great selections! I'm cuddling up with my space heater as I write and longing for my heavy quilts and heating pad in the bed...

  8. Thank you for sharing Field's poem, Irene - I do love that one.

  9. I really like "from March '79." I love the way he turns "words, but no speech" to "speech but no words." I'm glad you found some socks you could wiggle around the toe thongy thing in your flip flops. Chillllly!

  10. Love these, Irene - especially the last one, which seems familiar somehow.

  11. Great poems to read today in Michigan where flip-flops are banished in winter--I especially love The Wild Geese, and this line: But beneath warm feathers
    Something cautioned, -- "Frost."

  12. Great wintery selections, Irene. I have goosebumps... =)

  13. A lovely collection of winter poems, Irene. I agree with Laura; love those "big blobs of bubbles". Thanks for sharing!

  14. I absolutely love The Tree That Time Built - I recall featuring it in GatheringBooks for our poetry/novel-in-verse theme at one point - just gorgeous lyrical poetry. Thanks for reminding me of this much-loved book.


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