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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

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • SoylentGreen February 2, 2021, 12:49 PM

    Love this poem. We just got back from a month-long, cross-country winter camping experience. 10 degrees or so most nights across Northern California, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Kansas in deep snow. I am reminded of a night on the Snake River in the Swan Valley, Wolf Flats Recreation Area. Wild swans, Mallards and Canada geese swimming to keep the ice from freezing them in. In the early dawn hoar frost a giant moose lumbered skitteringly across the road, astonished that we were there and disappeared into the thicket.
    When you’re cold long enough, you don’t notice it… But God, I love being back in the central heating of home!

  • Dan Patterson February 3, 2021, 3:40 AM

    It is not death I fear, but the cold.