The sun comes late or not at all.
The clouds lie thick and low.
Bony fingered branches crack
in winds that sing of woe.

The earth is sealed with ruthless ice.
The daisies hide below.
The most that we can hope for is
a blossoming of snow.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved


Monday I visited Miss Rumphius and noticed that on Thanksgiving she shared Emily Dickinson’s poem “Autumn.” One look at that and I was tangling with winter. It seemed the perfect subject for a week with frigid temperatures. In St. Louis, my hometown, they had a foot of snow but here in Washington, all we had were cold winds, horrid gray skies, and poetry.

For more Poetry Friday, visit Donna at Mainely Write.

23 replies
  1. Janet F. says:

    Always time for poetry! I am subbing today in my poetry class. I am going to share this! I am eager to see how they react to a new poem from you.

  2. Tabatha says:

    Liz, your blog is always an enjoyable spot for me to visit because I appreciate your turns-of-phrase, but more importantly, the sensibility behind them.

  3. Heidi says:

    Nice, Liz–I especially like your last two lines which speak of the despair that threatens but doesn’t quite overwhelm the hopeful idea of blossoms of snow.

    Hope your time in Florida gave some relief!

    • lsteinglass says:

      Thanks Heidi. It was a little harsh to come back to such cold temperatures. And what’s the point of being cold if there’s no snow to play in?

  4. Janet F. says:

    I asked the kids what this might have meant to you since you are in DC and we are in the snow belt AND the grey region. We are used to those horrid grey skies. Kind of the norm here and you do get used to it. (I grew up on Long Island so it took me years to adapt!) We love the last line, too!

    • lsteinglass says:

      I am on the look-out for a ribbon that says “Number 1 Fan!” then I will have to find you and pin it on you!

  5. Janet F. says:

    Oh, I was interrupted while writing. Guess what the science lesson is today? What is climate? SO your poem is the perfect tie-in. We dealt with the difference between climate and weather and it is helpful when talking about latitude to be able to show them yours compared to ours! So voila: Poetry and Science. I hear there is a new PFA on science and poetry coming out soon!

    • lsteinglass says:

      Thank you so much Janet! Seriously, you make it fun to write. I’m glad the poem and the timing worked so perfectly. So, can your students explain to me why we have freezing rain instead of snow?

  6. Buffy Silverman says:

    Love the crack of the bony fingers, the ruthless ice, and the wish for a blossoming of snow–thanks for making gloom a delight, Liz!

  7. Linda Baie says:

    I guess I thought that all of you straight east had snow, and plenty of it. Didn’t watch the map so carefully! Love the rhythm of your poem, the hope of ‘blossoms of snow’, Liz. Staying inside on such a day with a book of poetry sounds like just the thing to do!

  8. Myra GB says:

    We don’t have winter in this part of the world, so it’s really nice reading all these gorgeous poetry that makes us feel a bit of cold amidst the sweltering heat here in humid Singapore.

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