Friday, January 26, 2018

Poetry Friday: Walter de la Mare

Illustration by Belarusian Artist Anna Silivonchik
Over at Books Around the Table this week, I wrote about the extraordinary fact that Moscow experienced only six minute of sunlight this December - six minutes for the whole month. That's the time it takes to soft-boil an egg...divided by 31 days. You can head over to Books Around the Table to read my thoughts about how much we all need sunlight during the winter - bottom line is this: BUNDLE UP, GET OUTSIDE, GO FOR A WALK. 

But here at The Drift Record's Poetry Friday, it's all about poetry - hurrah! Here is a seasonal favorite of mine from Walter de la Mare. I love the mood, the unusual rhyme scheme (AABCB) and oh, the strange and wonderful ending with its unexpected metrical shift (not to mention the alliteration before the white moon...sigh....)  Enjoy! 

Clouded with snow
The cold winds blow,
And shrill on leafless bough
The robin with its burning breast
Alone sings now.

The rayless sun,
Day's journey done,
Sheds its last ebbing light
On fields in leagues of beauty spread
Unearthly white.

Thick draws the dark,
And spark by spark,
The frost-fires kindle, and soon
Over that sea of frozen foam
Floats the white moon.

              Walter de la Mare
 The Poetry Friday round-up this week is being hosted by Carol of Beyond LiteracyLink. Head over there to see what other people have posted. 


  1. Oh those frost-fires... thank you! And holy hotdog, SIX minutes of sunshine... that's brutal. I get cranky after one gray day! Thank you for sharing. xo

    1. Holy hot dog is right, Irene (though it takes me about two weeks without a solid day's worth of blue sky to get really grumpy!)

  2. 6 minutes in a month! Holy Mackerel! That illustration of the sun is so moving. And this: "The frost-fires kindle, and soon/ Over that sea of frozen foam/ Floats the white moon." Ahhhh. Lovely.

  3. Six minutes...oh my....well, perhaps I shouldn't be complaining so much about our weather here, though we do get rain pretty much every day for months on end!

  4. I smile whenever I read poems about winter - mainly because we never get that here in singapore. I shall feel the cold through the poems you share during this season. :)

  5. Yup. I'm with you. Not complaining about grey Ohio any more!

  6. No wonder there's so much vodka drinking going on in Russia.

    "Thick draws the dark"--a lovely turn of phrase.

    1. (I especially like that phrase, too, Diane...)

  7. What a beautiful poem (new to me). Can't believe about the 6 minutes of daylight in Moscow . . .

  8. That is a lovely winter poem. And I thought Indiana winters were dark and gloomy--at least we had more than six minutes of sunshine. I can't imagine.

  9. So gorgeous - and what a line, "Thick draws the dark." Thanks for sharing, Julie, and happy SUPER BLUE BLOOD MOON this coming week!

  10. This winter poem is one that I found and thought I would create a post around. It would make a wonderful mentor text.

  11. As my younger daughter would say, I was "shook" by your opening paragraph. I have missed some good weather here, though, busy inside, and I really do need to take your advice and go for a walk.
    Love the de la Mare poem, Julie. It made me look up "Silver," too. One moon leads to another.

  12. I heard about that 6 min on NPR not long ago. Incredible, isn't it? Thank you, Julie, for sharing this favorite winter poem. That moon... what a payoff.

  13. I love this poem for all the reasons you mentioned. I haven't read it in a while, though, so thank you for sharing. Winter's beauty is different from the other seasons', but it's a wonderful beauty nonetheless.