Poetry Friday: Midwinter – John Unterecker


POETRY FRIDAY is hosted by Karen Edminstein

Here, in the Northeast, we are weary of winter.  I can safely say that I would be jubilant if I didn’t see any more snow until December – at the very earliest.  But, poets have the gift of being able to arrive at midwinter and find something of beauty.  I love the arrangement of this poem, and the way it captures winter details.



At dusk, a great flare of winter lightning photographed the bay:
Waves were broken scrolls.          Beyond Donegal, white mountains
hung in a narrow bas-relief frozen on sky.
                                                                            Later, there was sleet: trees down
on the Drumholm road; near Timoney’s farm, a frantic goose
pinned under branches.
                                        All night long, we spoke of loneliness,
long winter, while winter sang in the chimneys.
Then the sky cleared and a marvel began: The hills turned blue;
in the valley a blue cottage sent up the day’s first plume of smoke.
It gathered like a dream drenched in frost.
That should have been all.                           We had worn out night.
But single-file,  deliberate,  five heifers,  a black bull,  three calves stepped  through the
                                                                                                                                    broken fence.
They arranged themselves between the house and hedge: a kind of diagram:
a shifting pattern grazing frozen weeds.
Their image is with me still.               The backs of the cattle are patchy with frost blue as



7 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Midwinter – John Unterecker

  1. Oh my, Tara, this is simply gorgeous. Printing it out to remember-it’s like a storybook image to me, comforting I think. Love “All night long, we spoke of loneliness,
    long winter, while winter sang in the chimneys.” And that lightning can photograph the bay-wow!

Thank you for reading my blog! Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s