To celebrate the winter solstice, a few crisp quotations. I loved Thoreau’s description of winter as an epic in blank verse, and his words are themselves a grand old poem. Enjoy.
‘That grand old poem called Winter … What a poem! an epic in blank verse, enriched with a million tinkling rhymes. It is solid beauty. It has been subjected to the vicissitudes of millions of years of the gods, and not a single superfluous ornament remains. The severest and coldest of the immortal critics have shot their arrows at and pruned it till it cannot be amended.’ 7 December 1856
Source: Henry David Thoreau, The Journal 1837-1861, Damion Searls (ed.), preface by John R. Stilgoe (New York: New York Review Books, 2009), p. 424-25
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