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

Photo credit: Printeboek at


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest