7 Poems Celebrating The Winter Solstice

by Kat Kuehl

It's almost here. You held out hope that it would never arrive, but that bitter season always finds a way to rear its ugly head once again. That's right, the first day of winter is fast approaching — so you might be searching for some winter solstice poems to help cushion the blow a bit.

There is only one thing I love about winter: the holidays. I'll admit that it's nice to have snow for that short period of time. But, I'd be fine if it all melted immediately after the new year. Unfortunately, that's not the way the world works — winter has a cruel way of holding on for seemingly far too long.

However, as easy as it is to complain about winter, there are still some bright spots. That crisp, cool air. A soft, fresh blanket of snow. Roaring fires and steaming mugs of hot cocoa. The possibility of having a snow day and being unable to go to work.

See? Winter isn't all bad. And, sometimes there's nothing like a poem to remind you of all of those not-so-miserable parts. So, I've rounded up seven winter poems and excerpts to help you head into this season with the right attitude. Because, as you already know, it's going to be a long one.

1. "A Christmas Carol" — Christina Rossetti

In the bleak mid-winterFrosty winds made moan,Earth stood hard as iron,Water like a stoneSnow had fallen, snow on snow,Snow on snow,In the bleak mid-winter,Long ago.

2. "Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind" — William Shakespeare

Blow, blow, thou winter wind.Thou art not so unkindAs man’s ingratitude;Thy tooth is not so keen,Because thou art not seen,Although thy breath be rude.Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:Then, heigh-ho, the holly!This life is most jolly.Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,That dost not bite so nighAs benefits forgot:Though thou the waters warp,Thy sting is not so sharpAs friend remember’d not.Heigh-ho!

3. "Winter-Time" — Robert Louis Stevenson

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;Blinks but an hour or two; and then,A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,At morning in the dark I rise;And shivering in my nakedness,By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sitTo warm my frozen bones a bit;Or with a reindeer-sled, exploreThe colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrapMe in my comforter and cap;The cold wind burns my face, and blows Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;And tree and house, and hill and lake, Are frosted like a wedding cake.

4. "The Snow Man" — Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winterTo regard the frost and the boughsOf the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long timeTo behold the junipers shagged with ice,The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to thinkOf any misery in the sound of the wind,In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the landFull of the same windThat is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow And, nothing himself, beholdsNothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

5. "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" — Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.His house is in the village though;He will not see me stopping hereTo watch his woods fill up with snow.The little horse must think it queerTo stop without a farmhouse nearBetween the woods and frozen lakeThe darkest evening of the year.He gives his harness bells a shakeTo ask if there is some mistake.The only other sound’s the sweepOf easy wind and downy flake.The woods are lovely dark and deep.But I have promises to keep,And miles to go before I sleep,And miles to go before I sleep.

6. "Winter Song" — Wilfred Owen

The browns, the olives, and the yellows died,And were swept up to heaven; where they glowedEach dawn and set of sun till Christmastide,And when the land lay pale for them, pale-snowed,Fell back, and down the snow-drifts flamed and flowed.

From off your face, into the winds of winter,The sun-brown and the summer-gold are blowing;But they shall gleam with spiritual glinter,When paler beauty on your brows falls snowing,And through those snows my looks shall be soft-going.

7. "Winter Eyes" — Douglas Florian

Look at winterWith winter eyesAs smoke curls from rooftopsTo clear cobalt skies.

Breathe in winterPast winter nose:The sweet scent of black birchWhere velvet moss grows.Walk through winterWith winter feetOn crackling iceOr sloshy wet sleet.

Look at winterWith winter eyes:The rustling of oak leavesAs spring slowly nears.

For more winter ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.

Images: Doug Brown, InAweofGod'sCreation, Laszlo Ilyes, Anthony Quintano, William Warby, Jay Reed, Bert Kaufmann/Flickr; Giphy (2)