11 Poems To Get You In the Mood for Snow

When I moved to California last year, I didn't think it was possible to miss the snow. Of all the natural phenomena, snow is pretty low on my list. Despite those first sparkling flakes, as someone who suffered her share of Midwest winters, I'm here to tell you that picturesque, pretty snow is just the tip of the iceberg (#CouldntResist). Snow is shivering, whipping through your hair, blowing in your eyes. It freezes to the ground and gets muddy, scaly, and sandy — somehow! — the longer it coats the earth. Also, The Sound of Music gets it wrong: there's absolutely nothing favorite-thing-worthy about snow landing on your eyelashes.

Frankly, I like the idea of snow much more than the reality of it, which is why I'm glad for ... poetry, obviously. With poems about snow I can at least imagine that all those cozy images are the real story. Because, let's be honest: snow is more mood than weather. (That's gotta be why it's listed as a scent in goop's first candle). Snow wants to be snuggling, afghan-burrowing, hunkering down, or bundling up for something vigorous and outdoors. 

Don't let the downsides of snow blindside you to its goodness. These 11 poems are here to help.

1. "Why Is The Color Of Snow?" by Brenda Shaughnessy

[Embed]
Poet, Decide! I am lonely with questions.
What is snow? What isn’t?
Do you see how it is for me.

2. "Snow" by Naomi Shihab Nye

Once with my scarf knotted over my mouth
I lumbered into a storm of snow up the long hill
and did not know where I was going except to the top of it.

3. "Snow Song" by Frank Dempster Sherman

[Embed]


  Blow, Wind, blow 
      Upon your pipes of joy;
   All your sheep the flakes of snow 
      And you their shepherd boy!

4. "Spring Snow" by Arthur Sze

A spring snow coincides with plum blossoms.
In a month, you will forget, then remember
when nine ravens perched in the elm sway in wind.

5. "Winter Is Good -- His Hoar Delights" by Emily Dickinson

Winter is good - his Hoar Delights
Italic flavor yield -
To Intellects inebriate
With Summer, or the World - 

6. "The Snow Story" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse at the garden’s end.

7. "It Is The Time Of Rain And Snow" by Izumi Shikibu

[Embed]


It is the time of rain and snow
I spend sleepless nights
And watch the frost
Frail as your love
Gathers in the dawn.

8. "When The Year Grows Old" by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I cannot but remember
  When the year grows old—
October—November—
  How she disliked the cold!

9. "The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens

[Embed]


One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

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

10. "On Snow" by Jonathan Swift

I’m bright as an angel, and light as a feather,
But heavy and dark, when you squeeze me together.

11. "A Winter Without Snow" by J.D. McClatchy

[Embed]


Down here, we’ve come to prefer the raw material
Of everyday and this year have kept an eye
On it, shriveling but still recognizable--

A sight that disappoints even as it adds
A clearing second guess to winter. 
Images: Hernan Sanchez/Unsplash; Giphy (5)

Must Reads