Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter Poems

selected by Barbara Rogasky
illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

A book for those of us who love these cold and frosty months.  Barbara Rogasky has pulled together a wonderful collection of poems just about winter.  In the introduction she writes:

First, I love winter.  In cities, cold makes the air smell better and the streets look cleaner.  Snow quiets the busy racket of every day and slows things down.  In the country, where I live, all the seasons are beautiful.  But winter is the best.  A hard walk with breath a frosty cloud is much more refreshing than a sweaty walk in the hot sun.  The color and light over snow's whiteness are ever-changing and glorious.

Second, I love poetry.  A poem is a kind of miracle of words.  It can tell a story, flash scenes and images to the mind's eye, and use many fewer words than any other kind of writing.  Try putting down in prose what "Skiing" or "Cat on a Night of Snow" is about.  It'll take a lot more words than the poem does. 

Our beloved Trina Schart Hyman does the illustrations, including pictures of her daughter and grandson and the house and countryside where her and Rogasky live.  This is the book you pull out when the wind is bitter and you have a cozy night in bed. 

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird is one of my favorite Wallace Steven's poems.

Oh, The Prelude by Wordsworth- one of the most beautiful things ever written.

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