Friday, December 01, 2006

Poetry Friday 26

It's the first of December and winter, in the form of heavy rain and strong, cold winds, seems to have arrived here with a vengeance this week, so I thought I would share some Winter-themed poems. I've known this first poem since I was a small child:

The North Wind Doth Blow


The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then,
Poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn,
And keep himself warm,
And hide his head under his wing,
Poor thing.

The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will the dormouse do then,
Poor thing?
Roll'd up like a ball,
In his nest snug and small,
He'll sleep till warm weather comes in,
Poor thing.

The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will the children do then,
Poor things?
When lessons are done,
They must skip hump, and run,
Until they have made themselves warm,
Poor things.

Most people know Robert Louis Stevenson as the author of Treasure Island, but did you know he also wrote poetry ? I love this one - it's so evocative of a cold winter's day:

Winter Time

(Robert Louis Stevenson)

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.

Whatever you're doing this weekend, be sure to keep warm !

* * * * * *

Edited to add: The Guardian reports that The Poetry Archive has celebrated its first anniversary today by unveiling a selection of newly-recovered historic recordings of poets from Siegfried Sassoon to Stevie Smith. Members of the Poetry Archive worked closely with staff at the BBC to retrieve the remarkable recordings, many of which were believed to have been lost forever. Sassoon, who already featured on the website reading "The Dug-Out", can now be heard reading "Everyone Sang", a poem celebrating Armistice Day which ranks among the best-known of his works. You'll find the full story of who else is included by clicking on the link above, whilst the Poetry Archive website is here.


Nancy said...

Nice choices. It's very rainy and windy here too. And dark.

Michele said...

Thanks Nancy ! It's pretty darned dark here too ! My mother was saying to me the other day that she thought we were going to get the lighter mornings (which given she gets up about 3 hours after me, made me laugh) once we changed the clocks - so I reminded her we are heading towards the Winter Equinox, therefore the days are getting ever shorter !

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting "The North Wind Doth Blow". I read this poem to both my daughters when they were young many times over from a collection of nursery rhymes in a "Little Golden Book". For the past several months (of cold weather) the first few lines have been going through my head. I could not remember the rest and it has been driving me bonkers. I finally thought to do a web search. Thank you for leaving it for me to find. Jo Ann, RN

Michele said...

You're very welcome !