Monday, February 23, 2015

Evocative Seasonal Poem about Winter

I love this poem by John Updike. It's very economical and yet the imagery is wonderful.

The days are short,
The sun a spark,
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.

Fat snowy footsteps
Track the floor.
Milk bottles burst
Outside the door.

The river is
A frozen place
Held still beneath
The trees of lace.

The sky is low.
The wind is gray.
The radiator
Purrs all day.

John Updike
Delivering milk by hand during the harsh winter of 1947 - the year I was born

I remember the early morning rattle of milk crates and the foil bottle tops, lifting from the glass bottles when the milk froze, or having been pecked at by blue tits and other birds. Not many people nowadays have milk delivered to the doorstep in glass bottles by a milkman on his electric milk cart - it's cheaper to get it in plastic from the supermarket.

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