Winter Memories Poem by Henry David Thoreau

Winter Memories

Rating: 4.1

Within the circuit of this plodding life
There enter moments of an azure hue,
Untarnished fair as is the violet
Or anemone, when the spring stew them
By some meandering rivulet, which make
The best philosophy untrue that aims
But to console man for his grievences.
I have remembered when the winter came,
High in my chamber in the frosty nights,
When in the still light of the cheerful moon,
On the every twig and rail and jutting spout,
The icy spears were adding to their length
Against the arrows of the coming sun,
How in the shimmering noon of winter past
Some unrecorded beam slanted across
The upland pastures where the Johnwort grew;
Or heard, amid the verdure of my mind,
The bee's long smothered hum, on the blue flag
Loitering amidst the mead; or busy rill,
Which now through all its course stands still and dumb
Its own memorial, - purling at its play
Along the slopes, and through the meadows next,
Until its youthful sound was hushed at last
In the staid current of the lowland stream;
Or seen the furrows shine but late upturned,
And where the fieldfare followed in the rear,
When all the fields around lay bound and hoar
Beneath a thick integument of snow.
So by God's cheap economy made rich
To go upon my winter's task again.

Pranab K Chakraborty 11 March 2012

...The icy spears were adding to their length Against the arrows of the coming sun, ... Beautiful imagery confronting the brilliant metaphor. Excellent touch of conscious.

3 5 Reply
Gone Away 11 March 2010

English is my first language and I had to consult the dictionary several times! The blue flag refers to the iris plant which is another meaning of the word flag. That would make sense that the bees are humming nearby on the mead (ow) .

6 1 Reply
Sylva Portoian 12 March 2010

Spring always arrives with sun When rays reach grass The land gets stewed So in this way Thoreau means stew hence stewed.

3 4 Reply
Kevin Straw 11 March 2009

'when the spring stew them' - what does he mean by 'stew'? This poem seems only to get in gear from 'I have remembered when the winter came...'

1 6 Reply
Steven Wein 11 March 2009

Kevin, 'stew' is a typo. Thoreau wrote it 'strew'

5 2 Reply
Ur mom 10 January 2022

U suck

0 0 Reply
DygdI 12 December 2018


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Edward Kofi Louis 07 August 2016

This plodding life! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

0 3 Reply
Akachukwu Lekwauwa 07 August 2016

beautiful recall

0 3 Reply
Karen Sinclair 11 March 2014

Absolutely exquisite. Beautifully nostalgic and descriptive. I actually welled up. The last two lines grasp. Brilliant

2 3 Reply
Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

Concord, Massachusetts
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