On Year 5: December’s Poems
Winter, to quote Eddard Stark, is coming.
There are so many poems about cold and snow and ice. Perhaps it’s simply the hunkering down we have to do in the storm that makes poets write that storm down. Imagine them, if you will, huddled next to the wood fire, blowing on cold hands before lifting the pen to make that first bold stroke on the blank page. Imagine them recreating the stark beauty. Imagine them. Because they are imagining you.
December 1, Monday: “Not Yet” by Jane Hirshfield
December 2, Tuesday: “The End” by Mark Strand
December 3, Wednesday: snow day–no school
December 4: Thursday: “Sonnet 97: How like a winter hath my absence been” by William Shakespeare
December 5: Friday: “White Eyes” by Mary Oliver
December 8, Monday: “This Winter Worse Than Most” by Madelyne Camrud
December 9, Tuesday: “At the Beginning of Winter” by Tom Hennan
December 10, Wednesday: “Snow Flakes” by Emily Dickinson
December 11, Thursday: “Glass Night” by Wesley McNair (This is a beautiful poem about treacherous ice–I have always loved it, and try to work it in at least once a year.)
December 12, Friday: “First Sight” by Philip Larkin
December 15, Monday: Sonnet 71 by William Shakespeare
December 16, Tuesday: “Winter Trees” by William Carlos Williams
December 17, Wednesday: “Fog” by Carl Sandburg (because this morning was incredibly thick with fog: I explained to the kids that it was sublimation, an idea they found rather interesting).
December 18, Thursday: “The Night of the Snowfall” by Mo H. Saidi (and last night there was quite a lot of snow!)
December 19, Friday: “Winter Solstice” by Hilda Morley (not until Sunday, I know, but there it is.)
December 22, Monday: “Winter Grace” by Patricia Fargnoli (This was a new poem to me, but how beautiful!)
December 23, Tuesday: “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost (Because I got a request for a Christmas poem, and this one will do. It will always do.)
December 24-31: Christmas break–no school.
It’s been a long month. But a good one. Because there are poems. When you wake up in the dark early morning and think I don’t know if I can do this for another day–the poems keep you company. You crawl out from under the covers into the crystalline air and start looking for the beauty. Then you find it. And everything is okay. At least, that’s what I keep telling these kids. I hope they believe me.