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Winter

  • A quantity of snow in itself is not so wonderful; it is the combinations which snow makes with forms in the winter scene.

  • Perhaps I am a bear, or some hibernating animal, underneath, for the instinct to be half asleep all winter is so strong in me.

  • Snow — real snow — soft and surprising, suddenly over the world. I never get over the surprise of snow. So gently changing the world. I must go out in it and see it. It is such a miracle — like conversion. Every neglected seed pod, every stray grapevine tendril, carries its burden of snow. Not one is forgotten. The change is complete. It makes me full of joy.

  • There seems to be so much more winter than we need this year.

  • There is a privacy about it [winter] which no other season gives you. If you belong to yourself in the sense in which I think Montaigne meant it when he said the greatest thing in the world is to learn to belong to yourself, no one can take that gift away from you. And yet in spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.

  • Dark edges of fish caught in November's freeze / glint like knives through lake's ice.

  • It was the kind of morning when people sensible enough to wear bed-socks refused to take them off.

  • ... it is a pleasure to a real lover of Nature to give winter all the glory he can, for summer will make its own way, and speak its own praises.

    • Dorothy Wordsworth,
    • 1802, in William Knight, ed., Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth, vol. 1 ()
  • There is a wilder solitude in winter / When every sense is pricked alive and keen ...

    • May Sarton,
    • "The House in Winter," A Private Mythology ()
  • Winter could drop down out of a clear sky, sharp as an icicle, and, without a sound, pierce your heart.

  • Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.

  • Snow's a searchin' thing. Snow be's like sorrow. It searches people out.

  • A tomb of life, not death, / Life inward, true, / Where the world vanishes / And you are you.

  • The fingers of the Winter drip. / They weaken into water, as a heart / Melted by love.

  • Winter is a terrible time for thin people — terrible! Why should it hound them down, fasten on them, worry them so? Why not, for a change, take a nip, take a snap at the fat ones who wouldn't notice? But no! It is sleek, warm, cat-like summer that makes the fat one's life a misery. Winter is all for bones ...

  • I think I hate snow, downright hate it. There is something stupefying in it, a kind of 'You must be worse before you're better,' and down it spins.

  • In the woods where snow is thick, bars of sunlight lay like pale fire.

  • The icicles at dawn this morning were the color of opals — blue lit with fire.

  • The Cold has been more severe than I can ever before recollect. It has frozen the ink in my pen, and chill'd the Blood in my veins.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • letter (1797), in John P. Kaminski, The Quotable Abigail Adams ()
  • Hoary-headed old Winter, I have had enough of you!

  • The ground has on its clothes. / The trees poke out of sheets / and each branch wears the sock of God.

    • Anne Sexton,
    • "Snow," The Awful Rowing Toward God ()
  • I am younger each year at the first snow. When I see it, suddenly, in the air, all little and white and moving; then I am in love again and very young and I believe everything.

    • Anne Sexton,
    • 1958, in Linda Gray Sexton and Lois Ames, eds., Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters ()
  • There's a certain slant of light, / on winter Afternoons — / That oppresses, like the weight / Of cathedral tunes.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • in Mabel Loomis Todd and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, eds., Poems, 1st series ()
  • When the days begin to lengthen, / The cold begins to strengthen.

  • When birds break open the sky, a smell of snow / blossoms on the wind.

  • Blackberry winter, the time when the hoarfrost lies on the blackberry blossoms; without this frost the berries will not set. It is the forerunner of a rich harvest.

  • It is freezing fit to split a stone.

    • Madame de Sévigné,
    • 1689, in Leonard Tancock, tr., Madame de Sévigné, Selected Letters ()
  • ... the large white snow-flakes as they flutter down, softly, one by one, whisper soothingly, 'Rest, poor heart, rest!' It is as though our mother smoothed our hair, and we are comforted.

  • The winter cold was a living thing, always waiting, mouselike, to creep in through the chinks in the cabin walls, up through the floor boards, and in around the tiny windows. It retreated before the roaring fire and the rising sun, but each day it retreated a little less.

  • [On England:] In this country there are only two seasons, winter and winter.

  • Only in the snow can both sexagenarian and child squat on the same small sledges and abandon themselves to the slopes. They feel alike and exchange smiles ... O simple, precarious, eternal realm of snow!

    • Colette,
    • "Farewell to the Snow," Journey for Myself ()
  • Yet my heart loves December's smile / As much as July's golden beam; / Then let us sit and watch the while / The blue ice curdling on the stream.

    • Emily Brontë,
    • poem XXI, in Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë, Poems ()
  • Winter sunshine is a fairy wand touching everything with a strange magic. It is like the smile of a friend in time of sorrow.

  • There is salvation in snow ...

  • It is so bitterly cold that the wine as well as water freezes in the glasses at the King's table.

  • But the cold spurred her ambition. When frost came, you had to decide things.

    • Ruth Suckow,
    • "A Great Mollie," A Ruth Suckow Omnibus ()
  • In a way winter is the real spring, the time when the inner thing happens, the resurge of nature.

  • I could almost wish myself a dormouse or a she-bear, to sleep away the rest of this cold, cold winter ...

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1836, in Geraldine Macpherson, Memoirs of the Life of Anna Jameson ()
  • That winter, cold settled in the bones as if it would be stored there indefinitely like ice in an icehouse.

  • Snow sets us dreaming on vast plains, trackless, colorless / Keep vigil my heart, the snow sets us on saddled racers of white foam ...

  • All the trees are furred with it, the smallest branches bearing their precious ermine carefully against the wind. Now and then glinting veils of it come cascading down, and the trees become graceful dancers, half-hidden, half-revealed through wheeling draperies.

  • [Winter trees] are like tall-bodied women dancing unclothed in the tingling embrace of sky and wind ...

  • There was nothing so real on the prairie as winter, nothing so memorable.

  • The snow again. White, white net of beauty, net of dream, trapping the earth, trapping the helpless heart of life ...

  • But I shall like my battle. This sort of day puts one in mood for it. Plenty of wood in the shed, jam and potatoes and apples in the cellar, hay and oats and Cressy in the barn. Pooh — what is winter?

  • The thing one resents about winter is its inactivity; the perpetual sameness of ice-armored hills and snow-blanketed woods. Great things, of course, may be going on underneath; but nature wears a mask, is icily non-committal.

  • Something told the wild geese / It was time to go. / Though the fields lay golden / Something whispered, — 'Snow.' / ... / Something told the wild geese / It was time to fly, — / Summer sun was on their wings, / Winter in their cry.

    • Rachel Field,
    • "Something Told the Wild Geese," Branches Green ()
  • In our part of the world winter is the normal state of affairs and seems to last about five years. This is fine for the skiers, but by the end of March all gardeners and mothers of small children have begun to go mad.

  • ... Winter had stretched / Long chill fingers into the brown, streaming hair / Of fleeing October.

  • By January it had always been winter.

  • It's just winter wheat to the people who raise it, only to me it means more than that. It means all the winter and all the cold and the tight feeling of the house in winter, but the rich secret feeling I have, too, of treasure in the ground, growing there for us, waiting for the cold to be over to push up strong and green.

  • A snow may come as quietly / as cats can walk across a floor. / It hangs its curtains in the air, / and piles its weight against the door.

  • Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for talk beside the fire; it is the time for home.

  • Popcorn-can cover / screwed to the wall / over a hole / so the cold / can't mouse in.

  • It is shovel, shovel, shovel snow, / Shovel everywhere you go, / Shovel high and shovel low, / Shovel, shovel, shovel snow.

  • It was so cold I almost got married.

  • The cold was our pride, the snow was our beauty. It fell and fell, lacing day and night together in a milky haze, making everything quieter as it fell, so that winter seemed to partake of religion in a way no other season did, hushed, solemn.

  • Teeth of winter, sinking into my flesh, my own clacking against each other like knitting needles, and I wish they'd knit a heavy shawl around my shoulders before widening into a yawn. Why do I always yawn when I'm cold?

  • ... throughout the winter, nature's active and crescent principle seems never held wholly in abeyance. From time to time, some precocious member of a dormant family, plant or animal, may be observed awake and stirring, as one who, having much on hand to accomplish, makes an early start by candle-light.

  • The summer lasted a long long time, like verse after verse of a ballad, but when it ended, it ended like a man falling dead in the street of heart trouble. One night, all in one night, severe winter came, a white horse of snow rolling over Bountiful, snorting and rolling in its meadows, its fields.

  • ... it was a bitter and biting iron-gray afternoon, that clanked like armor and was as cold as a frosty axehead.

  • ... the snow is beautiful. It's always such a relief to see the landscape smoothed out, simplified, made whole. Went skiing over last weekend and found the woods very calm and harmonious in their white cladding. Spiders evidently as surprised by the weather as the rest of us: their webs were still everywhere — little silken laundry lines with perfect snowflakes hung out in rows to dry.

    • Leslie Land,
    • in Leslie Land and Roger Phillips, The 3,000 Mile Garden: An Exchange of Letters on Gardening, Food, and the Good Life ()
  • The winter with ice on the edge of its teeth / Blew snow in the sandpit and hail on the heath. / And, sliding through eyeholes and any odd cracks, / Ran shivery fingers down everyone's back.

    • Margaret Mahy,
    • "The Springing Granny," Bubble Trouble and Other Poems and Stories ()
  • Whoa ... Chicago is hella cold. I gotta break off all of my friendships with people who don't live in my bedroom or kitchen. I'm a house-person now.

  • winter morning / without leaf or flower / the shape of the tree.