Winter

wiki anorak 2

Winter renews landscapes by breaking things down.
It strips the leaves from gaudy, giddy trees
Culled from the world’s gardens to colour the town
And strangles exiled fish in ponds that freeze,
Dead things abounding.

Padded with clothes, human steam-engines appear vast
And pass puffing their insides out in white clouds,
Nostrils on fire. Moulded by winter, they’re cast
Not like themselves in their own forms but the crowd’s,
Shapeless yet lasting.

When will we see summer return, a real face
Reddened with smiles? When will we see, as in youth,
Nature’s real form, slender limbs moving with grace?
Dare I say it? When will we break out the truth
From its hard, old case?

Winter renews landscapes by breaking things down.
It heaps dead forms into mounds of fertile mould,
Clearing from rank ponds the desires that had grown
Tangled and tired, barren and broken and old,
Fresh hopes abounding.


This poem is an adaptation of the Sapphic stanza, named after the Greek poetess of love, Sappho, but used also by the Greek poet of war and hardship, Alcaeus.

Current edit:

22 June 2014

26 August 2015

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