Poetry Friday:Patricia Fargnoli: “Winter Grace”

 Laura Purdie Salas is hosting the roundup at Writing the World for Kids. 

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It’s been a winter of solitude, self reflection, and discovery.  Our pastures and woods may have filled up with snow and ice, but I discovered new pathways to skirt around the impassable and that there was a particular satisfaction in trudging through the snow just to be able to see the frozen creek glint and glimmer as it meandered down the valley.  Daylight may have been reduced to a few precious hours, if we were lucky to have been graced with the sun in the first place, but there was a delightful satisfaction in being able to allow early darkness as an invitation to longer hours of reading by the roaring woodstove.

This lovely poem captures  my winter thoughts perfectly:

Patricia Fargnoli: “Winter Grace”

If you have seen the snow
under the lamppost
piled up like a white beaver hat on the picnic table
or somewhere slowly falling
into the brook
to be swallowed by water,
then you have seen beauty
and know it for its transience.
And if you have gone out in the snow
for only the pleasure
of walking barely protected
from the galaxies,
the flakes settling on your parka
like the dust from just-born stars,
the cold waking you
as if from long sleeping,
then you can understand
how, more often than not,
truth is found in silence,
how the natural world comes to you
if you go out to meet it,
its icy ditches filled with dead weeds,
its vacant birdhouses, and dens
full of the sleeping.
But this is the slowed-down season
held fast by darkness
and if no one comes to keep you company
then keep watch over your own solitude.
In that stillness, you will learn
with your whole body
the significance of cold
and the night,
which is otherwise always eluding you.

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14 thoughts on “Poetry Friday:Patricia Fargnoli: “Winter Grace”

  1. Learning with the whole body… that is what you are doing, Tara, when you trudge through to see that creek! Thank you for this post, which feels like a dream to me from here in 66-degrees-yesterday (though cooler today), jonquils-blooming Alabama. xo

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  2. Another gorgeous, new-to-me poem. You always share the best ones, Tara. Especially love “the flakes settling on your parka
    like the dust from just-born stars”. Swoon. Your posts here are so calming with heightened observation. Such a pleasure!

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  3. Tara, I started to really ponder what you said when you wrote: “It’s been a winter of solitude, self reflection, and discovery.” As a new country living owner, you must be totally immersed in what nature offers. Your photo pairs beautifully with your quote and the descriptive poem. What a fabulous reading from the first line of the poem to
    “you have seen beauty
    and know it for its transience.” I love these lines for it is in nature that we can grasp the awesomeness of the world. Your winter of peace is felt in this post.

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  4. Keep watch over your own solitude….the natural comes to meet us when we go out. So many lovely moments to read again in this poem. Gosh, your photo looks COLD! You make me wish for a day on the farm.

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  5. I do envy you your beautiful time in this new place, having winter renewal that (maybe?) you didn’t know was there. Yes, the poem says much about how we seem to ignore things, perhaps especially in the city. I have some goodness as in the poem when I get the mail in this winter cold & darkness, usually doesn’t arrive till 7 or 7:30. Thank you for finding new poems for us, Tara! Love “like the dust from just-born stars”.

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  6. I’ve tried to write about the way falling snow gets swallowed up by streams. This poems puts it perfectly. I also love how everything looks a little blue in the snow, as it does in your photograph.

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  7. Tara, thank you for making me slow down for a moment to read this. The bit

    flakes settling on your parka
    like the dust from just-born stars,

    made me sigh! And so many other slow, rolling, thoughtful words and sounds in this poem. Thank you!

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