Winter Poems

A Collection of Classic and New Poems for the Winter Season

New York City Battles Through Another Winter Storm
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

When the cold winds begin to blow and the nights reach their longest stretch at the solstice, winter has arrived. Poets through the ages have lent their quills and pens to write verses about the season. Snuggle up around the fireside with a snifter of brandy or a mug of hot chocolate or go out to greet the late morning sunrise and contemplate these poems. This anthology of winter poems begins with a few classics before suggesting some new poems for the season.

Winter Poems from the 16th and 17th Century

The Bard of Avon had several poems about winter. No wonder, since the Little Ice Age kept things chilled in those days.

  • William Shakespeare,
    “Winter” from  "Love's Labour's Lost" (1593)
  • William Shakespeare,
    “Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind” from "As You Like It" (1600)
  • William Shakespeare,
    Sonnet 97 - “How like a winter hath my absence been” (1609)
  • Thomas Campion,
    “Now Winter Nights Enlarge” (1617)

Winter Poems from the 18th Century

The pioneers of the Romantic Movement penned their poems end of the 18th Century. It was a time revolution and enormous changes the British Isles, the colonies, and Europe.

  • Robert Burns,
    “Winter: A Dirge” (1781)
  • William Blake,
    “To Winter” (1783)
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
    “Frost at Midnight” (1798)

Winter Poems From the 19th Century

Poetry blossomed in the New World and female poets also made their mark in the 19th century. Besides the power of nature in winter, poets such as Walt Whitman also took note of the technological and manmade environment.

  • John Keats,
    “In drear-nighted December” (1829)
  • Charlotte Brontë,
    “Winter Stores” (1846)
  • Walt Whitman,
    “To a Locomotive in Winter” (1882)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson,
    “Winter-Time” (1885)
  • George Meredith,
    “Winter Heavens” (1888)
  • Emily Dickinson,
    “There’s a certain Slant of light” (#258)
  • Emily Dickinson,
    “It sifts from Leaden Sieves” (#311)
  • Robert Bridges,
    “London Snow” (1890)

Classic Winter Poems From the Early 20th Century

The early 20th century saw enormous changes in technology and also the carnage of World War I. But the change of season to winter was a constant. No matter how much man sought to control the enviroment, nothing held back the onset of winter.

  • Thomas Hardy,
    “Winter in Durnover Field” (1901)
  • William Butler Yeats,
    “The Cold Heaven” (1916)
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins,
    “The Times Are Nightfall” (1918)
  • Robert Frost,
    “An Old Man’s Winter Night” (1920)
  • Wallace Stevens,
    “The Snowman” (1921)
  • Robert Frost,
    “Dust of Snow” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” (1923)

Contemporary Winter Poems

Winter continues to inspire modern day poets. Some may achieve the title of classics in the decades to come. Browsing them can enlighten you as to how poetry is changing and people are expressing their art. You can find most of these poems online. Enjoy this selection of poems on winter themes from contemporary poets:

  • Salvatore Buttaci, “From Cold Unblinking Eyes”
  • Denis Dunn, “Winter in Maine on Rte 113” and “Silent Solstice (Winter Becomes Maine)”
  • Jim Finnegan, “Flightless Bird”
  • Jesse Glass, “The Giant in the Dirty Coat”
  • Dorothea Grossman, Untitled winter poem
  • Ruth Hill, “Land of Long Shadows”
  • Joel Lewis, “Making a Meal Out of It”
  • Charles Mariano, “This Winter”
  • Whitman McGowan, “It Was So Cold”
  • Justine Nicholas, “Palais d’Hiver”
  • Barbara Novack, “Winter: 10 degrees”
  • Debbie Ouellet, “North Wind”
  • Joseph Pacheco, “Cold Winter Morn in Florida”
  • Jack Peachum, “The Migrant”
  • Barbara Reiher-Meyers, “Blizzard” and “Sweet and Bitter”
  • Todd-Earl Rhodes, Untitled poem
  • Robert Savino, “Shortcut Through the Storm”
  • Jackie Sheeler, “Underground Xmas”
  • Lisa Shields, “Reaching for White” and “Climate Change”
  • Aldo Tambellini, “October 19, 1990”
  • Joyce Wakefield, “Winter Conversation”