Celebrating the Solstice with Winter Poems

By Elaine Magliaro

Photograph by Elaine Magliaro

Photograph by Elaine Magliaro

The winter solstice begins this evening. I thought I’d post some poems for the winter season today.

Toward the Winter Solstice
By Timothy Steele, 1948

Although the roof is just a story high,
It dizzies me a little to look down.
I lariat-twirl the cord of Christmas lights
And cast it to the weeping birch’s crown;
A dowel into which I’ve screwed a hook
Enables me to reach, lift, drape, and twine
The cord among the boughs so that the bulbs
Will accent the tree’s elegant design.

Friends, passing home from work or shopping, pause
And call up commendations or critiques.
I make adjustments. Though a potpourri
Of Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and Sikhs,
We all are conscious of the time of year;
We all enjoy its colorful displays
And keep some festival that mitigates
The dwindling warmth and compass of the days.

Click here to read the full text of the poem.

By Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850 – 1894

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 sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me 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.


Photograph by Elaine Magliaro

Photograph by Elaine Magliaro

Winter White
By Elaine Magliaro

Winter White
whirls in the wind,
waltzes down from clouds,
alights with feathered feet.
It pillows the ground,
muffling the sound of footsteps
on the walk.

Winter White
wraps the rhododendron
in a fluffy shawl,
lays a feathered quilt
over the frozen pond.

Winter White
etches windowpanes with frosty fingertips.
It whispers through icy lips,
sounds like a ghost
shivering in cold blue shadows.


From the Washington Post

Winter begins today: Five questions and answers about the solstice

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4 Responses to Celebrating the Solstice with Winter Poems

  1. The longest night in our lifetime, during some of our darkest days.

    Our legal radical buddy, over at lawyers on strike, has a thread about Rochester NY,s mayor named Lovely.

    It reflects upon the WWI history of a truce for Christmas and combatants singing carols.

    Apropos. …no?

  2. OroLee says:

    Some YOUTUBE “Songs of Solstice”

    Ravens – Solstice Carol

    Emerald Rose – Santa Claus is Pagan Too

  3. Oro Lee says:

    Screwed that up!!! Tried to link to two songs on a list, only got the first song on the list. Sounds pretty.
    Maybe this time. . .

    Ravens – Solstice Carol

    Emerald Rose – Santa Claus is Pagan Too

  4. Oro Lee says:

    As these short days lengthen, and friends our weary souls strengthen, then spring like flowers our winter’s dreams.

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