A Child’s Winter Inventory

Winter ‘87-’88

Twittering birds;
Chattering teeth;
Snow coats the trees
In an icy sheath.

Glittering snow,
Bone-chilling breeze;
The frost seeps in;
Things begin to freeze.

Fluttering scarves;
Skaters on ice;
I think that winter
Is really quite nice.

 

 

To Winter

December 16, 1994

Enough of this pitifully weak autumn bluster!
I want the worst weather that Winter can muster!
Though some prefer sunshine, I crave the elation
Of hoarfrost and hailstorms and horripilation.
Be off, gentle zephyr! Come, bitter boreal!
Strip bare trees defiant; make water congeal!
Shed your timidity, come with temerity.
Bring the full issue of Winter severity.
I pity those people who tremble and quiver
In fear of your advent. Great Winter, deliver!
If blizzards and snowstorms replace this warm haze,
Then numb and frostbitten, I’ll sing to your praise!

Originally published in The Lyric

 

 

Cocoon

March 4, 1999

The dull, bare branches of the trees,
Some clung to by dead leaves,
Wave ghostly fingers in the breeze
And claw against the eaves.

The sunshine vainly strives to cheer
And brighten up the day;
The landscape is but one pale smear
In dreary shades of gray.

Deep frost pervades the barren earth,
The cold air swallows sound,
And striking is the gloomy dearth
Of greenery around.

Despite this scene, with glowing eyes
Hope boldly lifts its head,
Aware that life in stagnance lies
Within th’apparent dead.

The bleak, the bare, in every place
Are all one vast cocoon,
And life, in time, will break the case—
And spring will follow soon.

 

 

Fading to White

2015

Twilight all morning,
Dusk at mid-day,
Overcast afternoon—
All the day gray.

Where can the sun be
Hiding his glow,
While the earth listlessly
Shivers below?

Softly, the answer
Falls with the night—
The sun has been weaving
Earth’s blanket of white.

 

 

Anna J. Arredondo grew up in Pennsylvania, where she fell in love with poetry from a young age. After living in Mexico for six years, during which time she met and married her husband, she returned to Pennsylvania for one more decade. An engineer by education, home educator by choice, and poet by preference, she relocated in 2017 and currently resides in Westminster, CO with her husband and three school-age children. Anna has recently had poems published in The Lyric and Time of Singing.


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10 Responses

    • Anna J. Arredondo

      Thank you, Joe.
      I submitted these four as “Perspectives on Winter” to showcase my many-faceted relationship with the season. 🙂

      Reply
  1. Joseph S. Salemi

    I really like “To Winter,” because of its high level of diction, and its dactylic measure. Mainstream poetry seems to have a gentleman’s agreement to avoid all dactyls; it’s nice to see a poet use them unashamedly here.

    I have one quibble — in line 6, the poet seems to be treating “boreal” as a disyllable with final stress (bo – REEL). The correct pronunciation is a trisyllabic (BAW – ree – al). Nevertheless, it can be accepted as a sight rhyme with “congeal,” though one should not make a habit of this practice.

    Reply
    • Anna J. Arredondo

      Thank you, Joseph, for your comment.

      Oh my. I am a bit mortified at my mistaken pronunciation. At that time I remember gathering an extensive collection of “winter words” to use in my poem, and just assumed it to be pronounced like congeal, conceal, surreal, etc. I assure you I don’t have a habit of using sight rhymes in lieu of true rhymes; this instance was out of mere ignorance of the correct pronunciation.

      I did, however, during my high school years collect a page full of sight rhymes as a little challenge for myself. I wrote a “pastoral” poem in iambic ABAB quatrains entirely with sight rhymes and nary a true rhyme to be found. I’ve been thinking of submitting it here, but it requires some editing and fine-tuning first.

      Reply
    • C.B. Anderson

      Joseph,

      I scan “To Winter” as ampibrachic pentameter — perfect where there are feminine end rhymes, and catalectic where there are masculine end rhymes

      Reply
      • Joseph S. Salemi

        Yes, that is more accurate. All I mean is that the primary rhythm that suggests itself to a reader is dactylic (DUM – dah – dah, DUM – dah – dah).

  2. C.B. Anderson

    What Joe and I are experiencing is in the nature of tri-syllabic metrical feet. Anapests (xx/), Dactyls (/xx) and Amphibrachs (x/x) are interchangeable, depending on where you start the scansion. Several of any of these feet strung together create a delightful ambiguity akin to an irregular heartbeat. How one reads them depends on where the reader begins to monitor the pulse.

    Reply
    • C.B. Anderson

      And there is a tendency, as Joe suggests, to let them collapse into a rhythm most comfortable to the inward inner ear.

      Reply
    • Anna J. Arredondo

      I like that “delightful ambiguity…”

      An anapest once had a feud
      With an iamb he found rather rude,
      So he snatched that snob’s sonnet
      And scrawled limericks on it,
      While the iamb in anguish boo-hooed.

      Reply

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