Sonnet 97 - How Like A Winter Has My Absence Been by William Shakespeare
This sonnet does mention other seasons as it is full of contrasts but clearly starts and ends with winter which the poet feels is perpetual when away from his love. One of Shakespeare’s treasured sonnets with its characteristic rich imagery and expressive and evocative choice of words.
Spellbound - Emily Bronte
Set in the Yorkshire Moors, the same as her legendary novel Wuthering Heights and written at only 19 years old, this sparkling poem encapsulates the bleakness of a cold lonely winter night.
The Darkling Thrush - Thomas Hardy
The wintery wonder that is the full throated evensong of the thrush pronounces a bright future which Hardy wants to share but is unable to.
The Snow Man - Wallace Stevens
Some regard this as one of the best poems ever written with its deep delve into levels of consciousness but none can fail to recognise it’s message of hope and stoicism at whatever nature throws at us. The poem is written from the perspective of a snow man and abounds with imagery of winter’s desolate beauty
In the Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti
This poem has been set to music and comes up frequently in Christmas Carol singing which is unsurprising given it’s original title of A Christmas Carol.
Rossetti captures how in the middle of winter life can look bleak with endless witner nights to come but winter does offer hope especially for those believers of God.
The Snow Storm by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson was a transcendentalist which this poem demonstrates as both a meditation on the power of nature as well as the mysterious powers of the artist. Here a snowstorm rather like an architect, transforms the world.
Winter-Time by Robert Louis Stevenson
The sun is lazy in winter, shining only for an hour or two before disappearing to sleep again as are our inclinations. Stevenson wakes early to sit near the warmth of the fireplace or go a sledge ride and enjoys the warmth of winter clothes. A wonderful winter poem where everything looks beautiful despite the icy cold weather.
Winter Song by Katherine Mansfield
The trials of winter are poignantly depicted as we are reminded of the plight of children living on the streets unable to hide from the snow and keep warm. Baby birds wait for parents to return with food and are in a similar predicament having also to survive the perils of the season.
It sifts from leaden sieves by Emily Dickinson
Dickinson beautifully describes how snow can become other worldly and render familiar objects obscure. She captures the essence of nature that appears to be in a bad mood with the snow flakes drifting across the landscape.
Snow Flakes by Henry Wadswoth Longfellow
This poem, written in 1863, and focusing on snowfall and how it lays atop the ground forest and field conveys a melancholic atmosphere but still like watching snow fall, is restful and relaxing.