Nature poems

Winter scene with frost
“When the willow world is with hoarfrost hung …”

Yesterday, I praised an early nature poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins inspired by his youthful sense of wonder.

More than 30 years ago, I woke up to a Minnesota morning that looked like a winter wonderland.  It was not snow, but frost that coated everything.  The thickest frost I’d ever seen.

It was Saturday morning, and in those days, Garrison Keillor was a local radio personality with a Saturday morning show on the local public station.  (His “Prairie Home Companion” show was just taking off, and so he still had a day job.)

He memorialized the remarkable morning by reading poetry celebrating frost and winter. I was so inspired I wrote one of my own.


When the willow world is with hoarfrost hung,
And the white fog lifts leaving trees bright new,
The foliage flashes with a crystal clue
Of how the world looked when light first leaped young.

Before man’s weight and weakness had begun
To break the branch or bruise the sodden slough,
The garden grew unburdened, bathed in dew,
Grew like a canticle, perfectly sung.


Published by

Bobby Ball

I love poetry. But I'm picky. No one pays me to read and write poems. It's more of a labor of love. I guess that puts me in good company. This is a project to discover why some poems strike you deep, deep down, while others leave you cold. I've got some ideas, and I'm eager to learn. I'll show you some of mine. Maybe we'll learn something new.

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