Winter Poems

Poems about winter evoke the enchanting and transformative beauty of the coldest season. They paint vivid pictures of snow-laden landscapes, icy winds, and the stillness that pervades the world.

These verses often contrast the harshness of winter and the cozy warmth found indoors.

Poets delve into the metaphors of winter, reflecting on themes of introspection, renewal, and the cyclical nature of life. These poems celebrate the unique charm of winter, from the joy of building snowmen to the ethereal beauty of frost-covered branches. Through words, they invite readers to embrace winter’s serenity and magic.


by Jean Bleakney

‘Winterisation’ subtly weaves the processes of preparing for winter and steeling oneself for news of bereavement.

As the title suggests, the poem is fixated on the arrival of winter and the troubles that come with it.

Halloween at the caravan.
All along the strand
sand is rearing up
like smoke from a bush fire.

Emmonsail’s Heath in Winter

by John Clare

‘Emmonsail’s Heath in Winter’ by John Clare is a beautiful nature poem that describes a specific area in Northamptonshire in winter. The poem focuses on plants and birds. 

The fact that this nature poem takes place in winter is a key part of the text. There is so much life, Clare suggests, even during winter. He suggests that no matter the time of year, or one's assumptions about the landscape, there is something beautiful and lively to observe.

I love to see the old heath's withered brake

Mingle its crimpled leaves with furze and ling,

While the old heron from the lonely lake

Starts slow and flaps his melancholy wing,

In Cold Storm Light

by Leslie Marmon Silko

‘In Cold Storm Light’ by Leslie Marmon Silko is a beautifully written nature poem that focuses on a winter day. The poem uses multiple examples of imagery to describe the scene. 

Winter is one of the primary topics at work in this poem. The poet describes a winter scene that brings up various sense-images, like smells and tastes. She uses figurative language to describe the scene's effect on her speaker.

In cold storm light

I watch the sandrock

canyon rim.

Over the wintry

by Natsume Sōseki

‘Over the wintry’ by Natsume Sōseki is a short, evocative poem that captures the desolate beauty of a winter landscape. It’s written in the form of a haiku.

Winter is a central topic in 'Over the wintry.' Sōseki portrays the cold and desolation of the season, exploring the stillness (and movement), isolation, and stark beauty found within the wintry landscape. Winter serves as a metaphor for the challenges that life presents.

Over the wintry

forest, winds howl in rage

with no leaves to blow.

First winter rain

by Matsuo Bashō

‘First winter rain’ by Matsuo Basho speaks about the related experiences between humans and animals in the form of a haiku poem.

Winter is a prominent backdrop in the haiku, symbolizing a season of change and the harshness of nature. The arrival of winter rain evokes a sense of transition and the need for protection. Winter represents both the challenges and the beauty that can be found in the colder and darker seasons of life.

First winter rain—

even the monkey

seems to want a raincoat.

The First Snowfall

by James Russell Lowell

‘The First Snowfall’ by James Russell Lowe is a deeply sad poem about the death of a child and what it’s like to consider that loss as time passes. 

Winter is an important topic in this poem. It's alluded to in the title and features heavily throughout all the stanzas. The season symbolizes the loss that the speaker and his surviving daughter experienced.

The snow had begun in the gloaming,

And busily all the night

Had been heaping field and highway

With a silence deep and white.

Death in the Arctic

by Robert Service

Robert Service’s ‘Death in the Arctic’ tells a bleak, dark story in such an evocative way that even after the poem finishes, the reader can’t help but wonder for more.

The poem takes place in the Arctic, where the speaker suffers in a winter landscape. This could represent a metaphorical winter in the narrator's life, a time of hardship and struggle.

I took the clock down from the shelf;

"At eight," said I, "I shoot myself."

It lacked a minute of the hour,

And as I waited all a-cower,

Somebody’s Mother

by Mary Dow Brine

‘Somebody’s Mother’ by Mary Dow Brine is a heartbreaking and heartwarming poem about caring for strangers.

Winter is a central part of this poem. The poet sets the poem in the winter season in an unknown location. But, the difficult weather adds a great deal to the reader's understanding. The face that the conditions are so bad makes it more dangerous for the elderly woman to cross the street and even be outside at all.

The woman was old and ragged and gray

And bent with the chill of the Winter's day.


The street was wet with a recent snow

And the woman's feet were aged and slow.


by Wilfred Owen

The best inspirations for poetry, or any art, really, as with the case of Owen’s ‘1914,’ come from anything that is real and important in the life of the writer.

War broke: and now the Winter of the world

With perishing great darkness closes in.

The foul tornado, centred at Berlin,

Is over all the width of Europe whirled,

A Dirge

by Christina Rossetti

‘A Dirge’ by Christina Rossetti is a thoughtful and moving poem about death. It speaks on the birth and death of an important person in the speaker’s life.

Why were you born when the snow was falling?

You should have come to the cuckoo’s calling,

Or when grapes are green in the cluster,

Or, at least, when lithe swallows muster

Explore more poems about Winter

A Frosty Night

by Robert Graves

Robert Graves presents a compelling duologue in his poetic ballad, ‘A Frosty Night.’ He uses simple ideas and complex language to create a meaningful poem.

A Winter’s Tale

by D.H. Lawrence

‘A Winter’s Tale’ by D.H. Lawrence tells a tale of two parting lovers who meet in the woods on a dark and misty winter day. 


by Gillian Clarke

Gillian Clarke’s free-verse poem ‘Advent’ depicts a lifeless winter landscape where everything is frozen to a state that instills despair and hopelessness in the speaker’s heart.

After Apple-Picking

by Robert Frost

‘After Apple-Picking’ by Robert Frost begins with an apple-picker’s thoughts after a day of work. The poem goes on to explore themes of life and death.

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree

Toward heaven still,

And there's a barrel that I didn't fill

Beside it, and there may be two or three

After the Winter

by Claude McKay

‘After the Winter’ by Claude McKay is a thoughtful and beautiful poem. Its speaker looks towards the future and considers the ideal life he’ll live with his partner.

Another Reluctance

by Annie Finch

‘Another Reluctance’ by Annie Finch is a beautiful short poem about a childhood experience. The speaker describes waiting for and watching chestnuts fall.


by Alice Fulton

‘Aviation’ by Alice Fulton is a poem about a single speaker’s highly relatable feelings of isolation in her small town. She sees herself as separate and alienated from those around her.


by Robert Frost

‘Birches’ is one of the most famous, admired, and thoughtful Robert Frost poems. The poem profoundly describes something simple, an ordinary incident, in elevated terms.

When I see birches bend to left and right

Across the lines of straighter darker trees,

I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.

But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay

Bleak Weather

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

‘Bleak Weather’ by Ella Wheeler Wilcox describes the coming of winter and how the newly “bleak” days might impact a relationship. 


by William Carlos Williams

‘Blizzard’ by the American poet William Carlos Williams is filled with vivid imagery of a blinding snowstorm and its aftermath. This poem taps on the themes of time, human history, and personal experiences.

Change Upon Change by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

‘Change Upon Change’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is a poem about lost love and change. The poet depicts her internal changes through images of the changing seasons.

Five months ago the stream did flow,

The lilies bloomed within the sedge,

And we were lingering to and fro,

Where none will track thee in this snow,

Desert Places

by Robert Frost

‘Desert Places’ by Robert Frost is a dark poem that uses a snowstorm to depict universal human loneliness and the inevitable return of depression.

Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast

In a field I looked into going past,

And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,

But a few weeds and stubble showing last.


by Florence Ripley Mastin

‘Discovery’ by Florence Ripley Mastin describes a walk through the woods during which a speaker experiences an important change. 

Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter

by Robert Bly

Robert Bly’s ‘Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter’ is about a speaker who meditates upon snowy nature while driving to a town to mail his letter. It is filled with rich imagery and striking symbolism.

Good Hours

by Robert Frost

‘Good Hours’ by Robert Frost is a powerful poem about isolation. Frost presents the reader with the image of a man who is at a physical and emotional distance from others.

I had for my winter evening walk—

No one at all with whom to talk,

But I had the cottages in a row

Up to their shining eyes in snow.

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