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Quotations about Winter


Winter rides the wind.
    Moments flow like flakes of snow,
        drifting, falling so.
~Cave Outlaw (1900–1996)

He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.... In winter the stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller triumph, and the heavens wear a look of a more exalted simplicity. ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866

Winter should not be considered as only negation and destruction. It is a secret and inward working of powers, which in spring will burst into visible activity. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation IV: Spring-time on the Western Coast," 1850  [Lyulph speaking —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

And there is quite a different sort of conversation around a fire than there is in the shadow of a beech tree.... [F]our dry logs have in them all the circumstance necessary to a conversation of four or five hours, with chestnuts on the plate and a jug of wine between the legs. Yes, let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius. ~Pietro Aretino, translated from Italian

[W]hat a severe yet master artist old Winter is.... No longer the canvas and the pigments, but the marble and the chisel. ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866

Nature looks dead in winter because her life is gathered into her heart. She withers the plant down to the root that she may grow it up again fairer and stronger. She calls her family together within her inmost home to prepare them for being scattered abroad upon the face of the earth. ~Hugh Macmillan, "Rejuvenescence," The Ministry of Nature, 1871

If the October days were a cordial like the sub-acids of fruit, these are a tonic like the wine of iron. Drink deep or be careful how you taste this December vintage. The first sip may chill, but a full draught warms and invigorates. ~John Burroughs, "Winter Sunshine"

It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it. ~John Burroughs, "Winter Sunshine"

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it — the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it — the whole story doesn't show. ~Andrew Wyeth, c. 1973

The simplicity of winter has a deep moral. The return of Nature, after such a career of splendor and prodigality, to habits so simple and austere, is not lost either upon the head or the heart. It is the philosopher coming back from the banquet and the wine to a cup of water and a crust of bread. ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866

Every mile is two in winter. ~Witts Recreations: Selected from the Finest Fancies of Modern Muses, with A Thousand Outlandish Proverbs, edited by George Herbert

Nature has many scenes to exhibit, and constantly draws a curtain over this part or that. She is constantly repainting the landscape and all surfaces, dressing up some scene for our entertainment. Lately we had a leafy wilderness; now bare twigs begin to prevail, and soon she will surprise us with a mantle of snow. Some green she thinks so good for our eyes that, like blue, she never banishes it entirely from our eyes, but has created evergreens. ~Henry David Thoreau, Nov. 8, 1858

The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in winter; the fleshy, in summer. I should say winter had given the bone and sinew to Literature, summer the tissues and blood. ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
     Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth;
     And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth
     Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
     Be through my lips to unawakened earth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O wind,
     If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ode to the West Wind," 1819

In seed-time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy. ~William Blake, "Proverbs of Hell"

What a wild winter sound,— wild and weird, up among the ghostly hills.... I get up in the middle of the night to hear it. It is refreshing to the ear, and one delights to know that such wild creatures are among us. At this season Nature makes the most of every throb of life that can withstand her severity. ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866

The life of man is a winter away. ~Witts Recreations: Selected from the Finest Fancies of Modern Muses, with A Thousand Outlandish Proverbs, edited by George Herbert

But Fielding lived when the days were longer (for time, like money, is measured by our needs), when summer afternoons were spacious, and the clock ticked slowly in the winter evenings. ~George Eliot, Middlemarch

[E]very winter,
When the great sun has turned his face away,
The earth goes down into the vale of grief,
And fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables,
Leaving her wedding-garlands to decay—
Then leaps in spring to his returning kisses...
~Charles Kingsley, Junior, The Saint's Tragedy; or, The True Story of Elizabeth of Hungary, Landgravine of Thuringia, Saint of the Romish Calendar

Winter is a time of promise because there is so little to do — or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so. ~Stanley Crawford, A Garlic Testament: Seasons on a Small New Mexico Farm, 1992

Never think that Winter is the silent time
      Of a cheerless clime!
All the multifarious seedlings, in a crowd,
      Talk together loud
Of the lovely shapes and colours they will be
      When the light they see,
And I hear them shouting all the day,
      Inextinguishably gay!
Winter is the weighty blanket Nature wraps
      Round her fervid saps,
Lest they, restless, should arise and work too soon,—
      Wearied out by noon!
Earth rules all her children by the solar clock;—
      Should they dare to mock,
Running loose before she gives them leave,
      They assuredly will grieve.
~Harriet L. Childe-Pemberton, Nenuphar: The Four-fold Flower of Life, 1911

The sunbeams are welcome now. They seem like pure electricity—like friendly and recuperating lightning. Are we led to think electricity abounds only in summer, when we see in the storm-clouds as it were, the veins and ore-beds of it? I imagine it is equally abundant in winter, and more equable and better tempered. Who ever breasted a snowstorm without being excited and exhilarated, as if this meteor had come charged with latent auroræ of the North, as doubtless it has? It is like being pelted with sparks from a battery. ~John Burroughs, "Winter Sunshine"

Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours." ~Robert Byrne, The Other 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said, 1984

Winter came down
To our home
One night
Quietly pirouetting in
On silvery-toed slippers
Of snow.
And we,
We were children
Once again.
~Bill Morgan, Jr.

All sounds are sharper in winter; the air transmits better. At night I hear more distinctly the steady roar of the North Mountain. In summer it is a sort of complacent purr, as the breezes stroke down its sides; but in winter always the same low, sullen growl. ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866

Let there be a cottage.... a real cottage... a white cottage, embowered with flowering shrubs, so chosen as to unfold a succession of flowers upon the walls, and clustering round the windows through all the months of spring, summer, and autumn—beginning, in fact, with May roses, and ending with jasmine. Let it, however, not be spring, nor summer, nor autumn—but winter, in his sternest shape. This is a most important point in the science of happiness. And I am surprised to see people overlook it, and think it matter of congratulation that winter is going; or, if coming, is not likely to be a severe one. On the contrary, I put up a petition annually, for as much snow, hail, frost, or storm, of one kind or other, as the skies can possibly afford us. Surely every body is aware of the divine pleasures which attend a winter fire-side: candles at four o'clock, warm hearth-rugs, tea, a fair tea-maker, shutters closed, curtains flowing in ample draperies on the floor, whilst the wind and rain are raging audibly without... ~Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, 1821

Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories. ~An Affair to Remember, 1957, screenplay by Delmer Daves, Leo McCarey, and Donald Ogden Stewart

Brew me a cup for a winter's night.
For the wind howls loud, and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care,
And I'll toast your bright eyes, my sweetheart fair.
~Minna Thomas Antrim, "A Night Cap," A Book of Toasts, 1902

I was just thinking, if it really is religion with these nudist colonies they sure must turn atheists in the Winter time. ~Will Rogers, 1934

One faire day in winter makes not birds merrie. ~Witts Recreations: Selected from the Finest Fancies of Modern Muses, with A Thousand Outlandish Proverbs, edited by George Herbert

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly.
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot;
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend rememb'red not.
~William Shakespeare, As You Like It, c.1599  [II, 7, Duke]

In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold. ~Ben Aaronovitch, Broken Homes, 2013

The leafless road midwinters by itself... ~Mark Van Doren, "The Other House," A Winter Diary And Other Poems, 1935

The room grows darker—
    My unfinished work waits to
        light another day.
~Cave Outlaw (1900–1996)

The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination. ~Terri Guillemets, "Wintermind," 2007

How changed is the landscape...
This spot, where in Summer I oft loved to linger,
Ah! what is it now? a bleak desolate scene!
Like Beauty when blasted by Death's icy finger,
A sorrowful ruin to what it has been...
The dry leaves are scattered beneath the naked bush...
Where chaunted the linnet and warbled the thrush...
How sad is the change! It awakens reflection,
And tells me nought earthly can ever long last,
While a tear gently starts at the fond recollection
Of pleasures departed and moments gone past.
~Henry Heavisides (1791–1870), "The Close of the Year"

Ham and green beans in my evening rice, with a glass of that good blackcherry wine on the side. Hibernation is a fine art! ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), tweet, 2010

Now song and life are gone, shall I rejoice
In Spring's cold ghost, that walketh after death?
~Charles Buxton Going, "Spring and Death," Star-Glow & Song, 1909

Winter strips the broad-leafed trees to their essentials. Now they stand in bare bones, all of them except the pines and spruces and hemlocks, and you can see what stands behind their graceful summer shapes. ~Hal Borland, "Silhouettes and Fingerprints," A Countryman's Woods, 1983

If we thatch ourselves too thickly from winter, we miss all the music of storms. ~Henry Stanley Haskins, "Prudence," Meditations in Wall Street, 1940

[A] winter evening.... fruits which cannot be ripened without weather stormy or inclement, in some way or other. I am not "particular," as people say, whether it be snow, or black frost, or wind so strong, that (as Mr.— says) "you may lean your back against it like a post." I can put up even with rain, provided it rains cats and dogs: but something of the sort I must have: and, if I have it not, I think myself in a manner ill-used: for why am I called on to pay so heavily for winter, in coals, and candles, and various privations that will occur even to gentlemen, if I am not to have the article good of its kind?... [A] winter night... must be divided by a thick wall of dark nights from all return of light and sunshine.—From the latter weeks of October to Christmas-eve, therefore, is the period during which happiness is in season, which, in my judgment, enters the room with the tea-tray... ~Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, 1821

Not everything is black or white
Some things are lonely grey
Like windows looking out on rain at dusk
Or the bitter pain in winter skies
when all the birds are gone...
~H. Joanne Hardee, from "Some Things Are Grey," in Our Western World's Most Beautiful Poems, edited and published by John Campbell, World of Poetry Press, 1985

Winter is best met on a mountainside when the snow is heavy on the branches of the pine and spruce and the sunlight turns the snow crust into a layer of sparkling diamonds, an emperor's hoard of precious jewels. In the winter-bound forest there is the silence of the cathedral, broken only by the cracking of a tree branch heavy with snow. ~Raymond Carlson, "Portrait of Winter," Arizona Highways, December 1952,

The Winter's cheek flushed as if he had drained
Spring, Summer, and Autumn at a draught...
~Edward Thomas (1878-1917), "The Manor Farm"

This was the full moon of high winter. It came when the season was at its deepest, in February, when the razor-blade cold of January ran into the hay-bale snows of March. ~Craig Childs, Crossing Paths: Uncommon Encounters with Animals in the Wild, 1997

Welcome, winter. Your late dawns and chilled breath make me lazy, but I love you nonetheless. ~Terri Guillemets

How beautiful thy frosty morn,
When brilliants gem each feathery thorn!
How fair thy cloudless noon!
And through the leafless trees, at night,
With more than Summer's soften'd light,
Shines thy resplendent moon.
~Bernard Barton, "Stanzas on the Approach of Winter" (stanza VIII), Napoleon and Other Poems, 1822

Though it was scarcely six o'clock, the night was already pitch-dark. The fog, made thicker by its proximity to the Seine, blurred every detail with its ragged veils, punctured at various distances by the reddish glow of streetlamps and threads of light escaping from illuminated windows. The rain-drenched pavement glistened under the lamps like a lake reflecting strings of lights. A bitter wind, heavy with sleet, whipped at my face, its howling forming the high notes of a symphony whose bass was played by swollen waves crashing into the piers of the bridges below. The evening lacked none of winter's rough poetry. ~Théophile Gautier, translated from French  [compiled from multiple translations —tg]

I can remember what a source of wonder to me Jack Frost and the moon were, and the hours I used to spend before frosted windows, seeing all kinds of fairylands... ~Anonymous freshman college student, c.1916

If ever I felt home-sick it was when returning home from a walk, on a chilly winter afternoon... ~Countess von Lauenbrück, "Life in a North-German Chateau," 1867

When dark December glooms the day,
And takes our autumn joys away;
When short and scant the sun-beam throws
Upon the weary waste of snows...
~Walter Scott, Marmion, 1808

...winter tames man, woman, and beast... ~William Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew, c.1593  [IV, 1, Grumio]

Dawn turned on her purple pillow
And late, late came the winter day...
~Sara Teasdale, "A December Day"

Winter is a lean, scrappy fighter. Spring blossoms from the sweat of Winter's brow. ~Terri Guillemets

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers...
~Thomas Campion, The Third Booke of Ayres

Let now the chimneys blaze
And cups o'erflow with wine...
The summer hath his joys,
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
They shorten tedious nights.
~Thomas Campion, The Third Booke of Ayres

Spring is my favorite season and I have always loved both summer and autumn. Formerly I didn't care much for winter, but here in the country I have grown to love it too. There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you. ~Ruth Stout, "When the Days Begin to Lengthen," How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back, 1955

the soft twinkle of a snowflake hitting the ground;
the silence of winter mornings. gentle, calm, serene.

Our destiny often looks like a fruit-tree in winter. Who would think from its pitiable aspect that those rigid boughs, those rough twigs could next spring again be green, bloom, and even bear fruit? Yet we hope it, we know it. ~Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Wilhelm Meister's Travels, translated from German by A.H. Gunlogson, from the later and enlarged edition

Winter giveth the fields and the trees, so old,
Their beards of icicles and snow...
~Charles, duc d'Orléans (1394–1465), "Spring," translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, c.1839

icicles are daggers of beauty
thrown by winter's sunshine breath
~Terri Guillemets

MidWinter's Eve! Tonight the Sun kisses the southern tropic and turns north. Hope and good cheer to all on this wintry side of our world! ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), @Raqhun, tweet, 2007 December 21st

In the rush of early morning,
When the red burns through the gray,
And the wintry world lies waiting
For the glory of the day...
~Louisa May Alcott, "Merry Christmas," in The Horn of Plenty, 1876

In winter there is no heat, no light, no noon, evening touches morning, there is fog, and mist, the window is frosted, and you cannot see clearly. The sky is but the mouth of a cave. The whole day is the cave.... Frightful season! Winter changes into stone the water of heaven and the heart of man. ~Victor Hugo, Les Misérables: Fantine, translated from French by Chas. E. Wilbour

Not at home to callers
Says the naked tree –
Jacket due in April.
Wishing you good day.
~Emily Dickinson

For the first day or so I was content simply to sleep away some of the accumulated exhaustion of the winter. ~Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved, 1980

I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood. ~Bill Watterson, The Revenge of the Baby-Sat: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection, 1991  [Calvin —tg]

...Winter, the aged chief,
Mighty in power,
Exiles the tender leaf,
Exiles the flower.
~Robert Fuller Murray (1863–1894), "A December Day," The Scarlet Gown: Being Verses by a St. Andrews Man, 1891

Winter starves our bellies but nourishes our souls. ~Terri Guillemets

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. It is no season in which to wander the world as if one were the wind blowing aimlessly along the streets without a place to rest, without food, and without time meaning anything to one, just as time means nothing to the wind. ~Edith Sitwell

'T is a mournful, mystic music in the chill, cold winter breeze,
And it fills my soul with sadness as it moans through leafless trees...
There is naught I know that 's like it save the dripping autumn rain
As it beats in ceaseless weeping on the echoing window-pane—
With a wild, uncertain longing that is full of deep unrest,
Thrilling every chord of sorrow in the sternest human breast.
There 's a certain vague enchantment in this lonesome melody
That enthralls and stirs the feeling like the murmur of the sea;
For there is a human story that is full of human woe
Whispered by the winter night winds as they wander to and fro.
~George Elliston (1883–1946), "Winter Music," written at age seventeen

Winter was hard that year. The bitter cold was so biting that it froze up the wind in the depths of the sky. The countryside shivered in silence. There was not a cloud in the sky. Every morning a russet sun rose in silence. With a few indifferent paces it strode across the whole breadth of the sky and day was over. Night heaped up the stars like grain. ~Jean Giono (1895–1970), Regain, 1930, translated from the French by Henri Fluchè and Geoffrey Myers, Harvest, 1939 [a little altered –tg]

This brilliant silence of winter is most touching, might I not say musical? How different it is from that of a starry night in June, which in mute eloquence proclaims repose! In this is power, an appeal to thought, strangely mingled with one to active energy. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation XI: A Winter Landscape," 1850  [Edith speaking —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

His chest felt about to burst with the beauty of the winter woods. ~Frances Frost, Sleigh Bells for Windy Foot, 1948

He withers all in silence, and in his hand
Unclothes the earth and freezes up frail life.
~William Blake (1757-1827), "To Winter"

How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter in our year! ~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, "April Days," 1861

For how can one know color in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness? ~John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America, 1961

Everything was frozen up and silent that morning. Even the wind was silent, but not really dead. It waved about a little and beat its tail gently against the hard sky. There was no sun yet. The sky was empty. It was all frozen up, like a sheet hanging out in the frost. ~Jean Giono (1895–1970), Regain, 1930, translated from the French by Henri Fluchè and Geoffrey Myers, Harvest, 1939

The last faded autumn leaflet hangs from a frozen branch, just a short fall from the tree to winter. ~Terri Guillemets

June suns, you cannot store them To warm the winter's cold...
~A.E. Housman

moonlit winter trees
bare branches paint gray shadows
ghostly risen roots
~Terri Guillemets, "Doppelgänger," 2022

Winter is a long, open time. The nights are as dark as the end of the world. ~Craig Childs, The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild, 2007 age is as a lusty winter,
Frosty, but kindly...
~William Shakespeare, As You Like It, c.1599  [II, 3, Adam]

The autumn twilight turned into deep and early night as they walked. Tristran could smell the distant winter on the air—a mixture of night-mist and crisp darkness and the tang of fallen leaves.... the crescent moon hung white in the sky and the stars burned in the darkness above them. ~Neil Gaiman, Stardust

The cedars are bronze beyond the naked orchard,
the sky is scooped flint in the cold, the crows are starved
in frozen stubble...
~Frances Frost, Woman of this Earth, 1934

The days are short,
The sun a spark
Hung thin between
The dark and dark...
~John Updike, "January," A Child's Calendar, 1965

hiding in my winter cocoon
not coming out again until June
~Terri Guillemets

It is a spur that one feels at this season more than at any other. How nimbly you step forth! The woods roar, the waters shine, and the hills look invitingly near. You do not miss the flowers and the songsters, or wish the trees or fields any different, or heavens any nearer. Every object pleases.... the straight light-gray trunks of the trees... how curious they look, and as if surprised in undress. ~John Burroughs, "Winter Sunshine"

Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins. ~Gustave Flaubert

I watch the springs, the summers, the autumns;
And when comes the winter snow monotonous,
I shut all the doors and shutters
To build in the night my fairy palace.
~Charles Baudelaire, "Paysage"  [compiled from multiple translations —tg]

Winter is the slow-down
Winter is the search for self
Winter gives the silence we need to listen
Winter goes gray so we can see our own colors...
~Terri Guillemets

We are accustomed to consider Winter the grave of the year, but it is not so in reality. In the stripped trees, the mute birds, the disconsolate gardens, the frosty ground, there is only an apparent cessation of Nature's activities. Winter is pause in music, but during the pause the musicians are privately tuning their strings, to prepare for the coming outburst. When the curtain falls on one piece at the theatre, the people are busy behind the scenes making arrangements for that which is to follow. Winter is such pause, such fall of the curtain. Underground, beneath snow and frost, next spring and summer are secretly getting ready. The roses which young ladies will gather six months hence for hair or bosom, are already in hand. In Nature there is no such thing as paralysis. Each thing flows into the other, as movement into movement in graceful dances Nature's colours blend in imperceptible gradation all her notes are sequacious. ~Alexander Smith, "Winter," 1863

It's peeking round the corner
Playing hide and seek
I see its icy fingers
A frost'd rosy cheek —
Days fall ever shorter
Autumn's air is chilling
Warmth no longer lingers
Wild things are stilling
~Terri Guillemets

The sugar covered landscapes of winter are breathtaking. Nothing can match the crystal clear silence of a winter morning or the sea smoke rising off a bay in soft tendrils. There is a special quality, not only to the scenery, but also to the quieter pace of life. Winter's peace is incomparable. ~Maine's DownEast & Acadia Regional Tourism,,

I hide myself in the quiet white of winter and
nestle in her comforting folds of cold oblivion
~Terri Guillemets

A thaw is obviously much nicer than a freeze,
Because it annoys people with skis...
~Ogden Nash (1902–1971), "Summergreen for President"

Icicles:  fossilized raindrops. ~Terri Guillemets

Never are voices so beautiful as on a winter's evening, when dusk almost hides the body, and they seem to issue from nothingness with a note of intimacy seldom heard by day. ~Virginia Woolf, Night and Day, 1919

The earth tucked herself in for the year with winter's frosty white blanket of snow. ~Terri Guillemets

In stormy fashion
Ends the dark season;
The wind's in a passion
Out of all reason.
Winter, so loth to go,
Howls, spitting out the snow,
Like froth of madness.
~Danske Dandridge, "The End of Winter," in Country Life in America: A Magazine for the Home-maker, the Vacation-seeker, the Gardener, the Farmer, the Nature-teacher, the Naturalist, April 1902

The elk that you glimpse in the summer, those at the forest edge, are survivors of winter, only the strongest... You can't help imagining the still, frozen nights behind it, so cold that the slightest motion is monumental. I have found their bodies, half drifted over in snow, no sign of animal attack or injury. Just toppled over one night with ice working into their lungs. You wouldn't want to stand outside for more than a few minutes in that kind of weather. If you lived through only one of those winters the way this elk has, you would write books about it. You would become a shaman. You would be forever changed. That elk from the winter stands there on the summer evening, watching from beside the forest. It keeps its story to itself. ~Craig Childs, The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild, 2007

In winter, forgive the fallen leaves of your past. ~Terri Guillemets, "Leaving behind," 2013

Winter winds sweep away the dead leaves of our lives. ~Terri Guillemets, "Release," 2002

Winter is not a season in the North Middlewest; it is an industry. ~Sinclair Lewis, Main Street, 1920

Then comes Winter, with bluster and snow,
That brings to our cheeks the ruddy glow...
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "The Four Seasons," 1940s

What nutriment can I extract from these bare twigs? Starvation stares me in the face. "Nay, nay," said a nuthatch, making its way, head downward, about a bare hickory close by, "The nearer the bone, the sweeter the meat.... If at any time the weather is too bleak and cold for you, keep the sunny side of the trunk, for a wholesome and inspiring warmth is there, such as the summer never afforded...." "Hear! hear!" screamed the jay from a neighboring tree, where I had heard a tittering for some time, "winter has a concentrated and nutty kernel, if you know where to look for it."... [A] red squirrel... came running down a slanting bough, and as he stopped twirling a nut, called out rather impudently, "Look here! just get a snug-fitting fur coat and a pair of fur gloves like mine, and you may laugh at a northeast storm." ~Henry David Thoreau, Nov. 8, 1858

Winter is simple
no clutter, no color
a blanket of snow
reminds us to rest
~Terri Guillemets

In the spring it's spring fever; in summer it's the dog-days; in autumn it's melancholy, but in winter there is only one name for it, and that is laziness. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1908, George Horace Lorimer, editor

Winter is the gray, bare shell of spring. ~Terri Guillemets

How tender and how slow, in sunset cheer,
Far on the hill, our quiet treetops fade!...
Frost and sad light and windless atmosphere
Have breathed on them, and of their frailties made
Beauty more sweet than summer's builded shade...
~Louise Imogen Guiney (1861–1920), "Winter Boughs"

Winter is a slow, elegant dance to springtime. ~Terri Guillemets

The two women walked cautiously over the path of hardened snow, planting their feet firmly and carefully. Watching their own steps, watching each other's. In winter the very ground seemed to reach up and grab the elderly, yanking them to earth as though hungry for them. Shattering a hip or wrist, or neck. Best to take it slow. ~Louise Penny, Bury Your Dead, 2010

...the ember and firesmoke shades of winter twilight... ~Terri Guillemets

Winter is on my head, and eternal spring is in my heart. ~Victor Hugo

Earth tilts toward Winter
my heart goes tilty too
the summer-fever cools
to a more reflective hue
~Terri Guillemets

In winter-time visions of Spring and Summer are conjured at will by poets... ~Helen Rose Anne Milman Crofton, My Kalendar of Country Delights, "Prelude," 1903

Spring blossoms flowers
Winter blossoms quietude
~Terri Guillemets

There's a certain Slant of light,
      Winter afternoons –
      That oppresses, like the Heft
      Of Cathedral Tunes –
Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
      We can find no scar,
      But internal difference,
      Where the Meanings, are....
When it comes, the Landscape listens –
      Shadows – hold their breath –
      When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
      On the look of Death.
~Emily Dickinson, c.1861

In Winter, Mother Nature dims the lights, sleeps late, hides from the world, and regenerates. Winter is the hangover of seasons. ~Terri Guillemets

Winter, then in its early and clear stages, was a purifying engine that ran unhindered over city and country, alerting the stars to sparkle violently and shower their silver light into the arms of bare upreaching trees. It was a mad and beautiful thing that scoured raw the souls of animals and man, driving them before it until they loved to run. And what it did to Northern forests can hardly be described, considering that it iced the branches of the sycamores on Chrystie Street and swept them back and forth until they rang like ranks of bells. ~Mark Helprin, Winter's Tale, 1983

Winter is a white-gray paradise blunted of details — the simple season. ~Terri Guillemets

Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud;
And after summer evermore succeeds
Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold:
So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet.
~William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part II, c.1590  [II, 4, Duke of Gloucester}

Winter vanishes without a trace—
the other seasons leave evidence.
~Terri Guillemets

The breath of winter on the mountainside is crisp and fresh, as if the snow that came so quietly the night before served as a purifier. Unlike winter in a city, there is a laundered cleanliness to the colder season on the mountainside that proclaims that the world is clean and good. The season in the city is a drab affair, at best. The smoke of a million fires turns the snow into a gray-black dreariness that is ugly and depressing. ~Raymond Carlson, "Portrait of Winter," Arizona Highways, December 1952,

Winter stars blaze in silent joy. ~Terri Guillemets

The shed of leaves became a cascade of red and gold and after a time the trees stood skeletal against a sky of weathered tin. The land lay bled of its colors. The nights lengthened, went darker, brightened in their clustered stars. The chilled air smelled of woodsmoke, of distances and passing time. Frost glimmered on the morning fields. Crows called across the pewter afternoons. ~James Carlos Blake, Wildwood Boys, 2000

Resist winter as you will — the cold will come. ~Terri Guillemets

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