10 Best Winter Poems for Poets and Lovers of Poetry

Find the 10 best winter poems for poets and lovers of poetry here. From classics to contemporary and for poetry lovers of all ages, this post has something for everyone looking to get a mix a little poetry with their winter.
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Find the 10 best winter poems for poets and lovers of poetry here. From classics to contemporary and for poetry lovers of all ages, this post has something for everyone looking to get a mix a little poetry with their winter.

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In the northern hemisphere, winter is nearly upon us. In fact, many would argue that winter is already here—and they have the snow to prove it! As such, here are my picks for the 10 best winter poems for poets and lovers of poetry.

If I've missed your favorite, no problem. Share your favorite winter poem in the comments below.

#10: "From March 1979," by Tomas Transtromer

Yes, March has the first day of spring, but alas, March also has the final days of winter. In this poem, Transtromer, a former winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, plays with the tug and pull of the seasons by contrasting it with the tug and pull of the words we say and the language that we can't.

Read "From March 1979" here.

#9: "In the bleak midwinter," by Christina Rossetti

While the end of winter offers hope, the middle of winter can seem as endless as winter nights. In this poem by the author of The Goblin Market, Rossetti searches for hope and finds religion. This poem has frequently been set to music.

Listen to a musical interpretation of "In the Bleak Midwinter" performed by James Taylor.

Then, read Rossetti's "In the bleak midwinter" here.

#8: "The Clocks of the Dead," by Charles Simic

This beautiful poem about winter captures the changing of time and generations with the assistance of the grandfather clock and snows of winter.

View Charles Simic reading "The Clocks of the Dead" here.

#7: "Horses," by Pablo Neruda

The landscapes of winter can seem bleak and unforgiving to many people, but Pablo Neruda latches on to an image that blazed through a Berlin winter—an image of horses. As the poem ends, "I have forgotten that dark Berlin winter./I will not forget the light of the horses."

Read "Horses" here.

#6: "Not Only the Eskimos," by Lisel Mueller

From a poem based on a Berlin winter to a poet born in Hamburg, Germany, Mueller's "Not Only the Eskimos" is a wonderful poem about language in general and snow in particular. As the poem begins, "We have only one noun/but as many different kinds:" of snow, and then, Mueller proceeds to label the various kinds of snow.

Read "Not Only the Eskimos" here.

#5: "The Darkling Thrush," by Thomas Hardy

Written on the final day of the 19th century, Hardy's "The Darkling Thrush" is one of the most popular winter poems in the English language.

Read "The Darkling Thrush" here.

#4: "It sifts from Leaden Sieves," by Emily Dickinson

Without once using the word "snow," Dickinson writes about "it" in beautiful imagery. The snow covers things both large and small: "Then stills its Artisans - like Ghosts -/Denying they have been -."

Read "It sifts from Leaden Sieves" here.

#3: "The Snow Man," by Wallace Stevens

Some lovers of poetry believe "The Snow Man" is not only the best poem of winter, but the best poem ever written. And it is a special poem, for sure, that binds people to the landscape of snow.

Read "The Snow Man" here.

#2: "Those Winter Sundays," by Robert Hayden

In "Those Winter Sundays," Robert Hayden explores themes of love, father-son relationships, and thankless work that must be done. This poem is a perfect example of the power of what is said and the power of what is not said.

Read "Those Winter Sundays" here.

#1: "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," by Robert Frost

Here it is: The best winter poem ever written, and surprise! It was written on a summer morning. Talk about distancing yourself from your subject. But the magic of this poem is as much about the content as the music ending with, "And miles to go before I sleep,/And miles to go before I sleep."

Watch Robert Frost recite "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" here.

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If you’re all wintered out, be sure to warm up with my 10 Best Summer Poems for Poets and Lovers of Poetry.

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