William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

Winter - Poem by William Shakespeare

When icicles hang by the wall
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When Blood is nipped and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who;
Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who;
Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.


Comments about Winter by William Shakespeare

  • Jeanette TelusmaJeanette Telusma (6/24/2019 2:21:00 PM)

    A lovely poem. I really enjoyed reading it. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • khaan (1/14/2019 9:31:00 PM)

    👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌✌ (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Harsh rajput (12/27/2018 9:01:00 PM)

    Superb poem (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • maxim (12/5/2018 5:41:00 AM)

    not cool broi i really feel offended (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Fayzan (11/3/2018 7:59:00 AM)

    YEP another great poem to analysis (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • JIMMBO (7/8/2018 5:41:00 AM)

    Another great poem I learnt at grammar school 1954, and I can still quote it.William, your a genius (Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • MarieRobinson (6/4/2018 12:25:00 PM)

    The best poem about winter ever the images as fresh as they were back in the 16th. Century, they all ring true today. (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • anonomys (4/20/2018 10:14:00 AM)

    good poem but could be better (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Barbara Bryce (3/2/2018 2:41:00 PM)

    I think this poem is just incredible, it is one of my favourites ever. I am not interested in analysing every single line or word. As far as l am concerned from the first time l read it it made me shiver, the freezing weather conveyed through the characters is just amazing. You can clearly visualise the setting and the conditions, amazing. (Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • George Henry U.K. (2/28/2018 9:25:00 AM)

    Studied the poem Winter for gcse English literature along with Macbeth Thos Hardy Under the greenwood tree along with other pieces which I cannot remember. This was 1948/ 50 (Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
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  • Sarah Steel (12/17/2017 10:59:00 AM)

    I first read this in Grade School and loved it dearly then. With so very few words he does paint a complete picture of the winters I recall. It almost makes me cold. Did I shiver? (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Indira RenganathanIndira Renganathan (1/26/2017 9:42:00 AM)

    Wonderful poem from the great poet...repetition of the staring owl, and Joan doth keel the pot. adds more grace to the poem....excellent description of winter (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • Akhtar JawadAkhtar Jawad (1/9/2015 4:17:00 PM)

    A beautiful poem................................ (Report)Reply

    13 person liked.
    10 person did not like.
  • John Richter (1/9/2015 12:25:00 PM)

    Not a huge Shakespeare fan - though this poem seems palatable. Still the language barrier causes me to wonder too much to really enjoy. Blowing a nail? I agree that 'ways be foul' probably means any trek outdoors. A commenter below mentioned that the narrator might be in love. I didn't get that feeling. Unless 'greasy Jane' is a heck of a lot more attractive than she sounds! (Report)Reply

    Lorraine(3/2/2018 4:42:00 PM)

    He is blowing on his nails/hands to keep warm

    Stephen W(7/15/2016 7:07:00 PM)

    It's about winter.

    12 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Stephen W (1/9/2015 8:01:00 AM)

    'ways be foul' probably means 'paths are muddy' (Report)Reply

    16 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Stephen W (1/9/2015 8:00:00 AM)

    'ways be foul' probably means 'paths are muddy'. (Report)Reply

    13 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Karen Sinclair (1/9/2014 8:15:00 PM)

    A nice warming write of Tom Dick Marion and Joan Surprisingly easy calming write by The Man. Seems to be the write of a man in love who is appreciating the smaller niceties in life with humour. (Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
  • * Sunprincess * (1/9/2014 12:58:00 PM)

    ..........a perfect poem for winter... (Report)Reply

    13 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Mark JensenMark Jensen (1/9/2013 3:10:00 AM)

    Starring the staring owl! And greasy Joan.

    I see someone on a website says 'Joan' means 'prostitute, ' but Norman Blake in his 'Shakespeare's Non-Standard English' (2006) has a long long list of terms Shakespeare uses to mean 'prostitute' and 'Joan' is not among them. This poem appears late in the very early comedy 'Love's Labour's Lost' but there is no character named Joan in the play. It appears as part of the rather bizarre end of the play as the second of two poems, the first being on 'Spring, ' which Armado introduces as the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled in praise of the Owl and the Cuckoo, adding that It should have followed in the end of our show. I like this poem but find the play rather tiresome. I never have much liked Shakespeare's comedies.
    (Report)Reply

    10 person liked.
    21 person did not like.
  • Mark JensenMark Jensen (1/9/2013 3:10:00 AM)

    Starring the staring owl! And greasy Joan.

    I see someone on a website says 'Joan' means 'prostitute, ' but Norman Blake in his 'Shakespeare's Non-Standard English' (2006) has a long long list of terms Shakespeare uses to mean 'prostitute' and 'Joan' is not among them. This poem appears late in the very early comedy 'Love's Labour's Lost' but there is no character named Joan in the play. It appears as part of the rather bizarre end of the play as the second of two poems, the first being on 'Spring, ' which Armado introduces as the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled in praise of the Owl and the Cuckoo, adding that It should have followed in the end of our show. I like this poem but find the play rather tiresome. I never have much liked Shakespeare's comedies.
    (Report)Reply

    11 person liked.
    19 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: snow, red, home, wind, winter



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Monday, January 9, 2012


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