10 Most Famous Poems About the Winter Season

Winter evokes a thousand feelings, and a poet's heart warms up like the hearth to pen down a few lines about the white blanket of snow stretched out for miles. The falling crystals of snow, the cold winter nights, the warmth and cheer of loved ones, and the silence etched out in time is listed out in the most famous poems about winter season.
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Jan 27, 2018
Annually over 200 writers from all across the U.S. gather for the Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway. Founded by Peter E. Murphy, a well-known author and poet himself who believes that winter is the best time of the year to write as it provides a quiet and tranquil ambiance which helps the writer to put in more creativity into his/her work.
There have been countless poets who have described the chills and thrills of the winter season. For some, it seems like cheerless, crisp winter days when the sun seems to shine less in the horizon, and the days are darker. They further describe nature to be as troubled with grief-stricken skies and nasty snow spreading a white carpet on the earth with the trees and animals going into hibernation.
Some of the poets take it as an excuse to stay indoors and enjoy the warmth of the fireplace, or indulge in merriment with loved ones in the true sense of the holiday spirit. They feel it's the best time to get connected and renew their ties. Some poets depict winter in a humorous style creating a happy feel about the transformation of the season. They love the sense of nostalgia that one gets through the white landscape and the stillness of the surroundings. Winter celebrates the warmth of human joy amidst the cold dark days, and some of these feelings have been beautifully captured in the below winter poems. Have a good read!
Famous Winter Poems
Winter
Winter House
Poet: 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 do 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.
William Shakespeare the greatest English Literature writer and dramatist was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. From the golden period of 1585 and 1592, he had a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He died at the age of 49 after retiring in Stratford. He is the author of many classic and masterpiece writings. This poem was written by him at the end of the play, Love's Labour's Lost, which was published in 1598.

The poetry talks about the bleakness of the winter season and the visual impression of the harsh and extreme cold weather. It draws a picture of icicles hanging from the rooftops, the cold milk in the pots, the hush of the birds with only the sound of an owl in the winter stillness that ironically sounds melodious to people.

It goes on to describe the effects of winter on people; it's so cold that it seems to have frozen the blood in them. Some are looking for warmth and food while others are sick and coughing. Winter is dark and cold, and not all are happy to see the snow.
Winter Trees
Winter tree
Poet: William Carlos Williams
All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.
William Carlos Williams an American poet and medical doctor was born in Rutherford, New Jersey on September 17, 1883. He was known to be a modern and imaginative poet. He won the first National Book Award for Poetry for his works―the third volume of Paterson and Selected Poems. He died on March 4, 1963, at the age of 79, in Rutherford. On May 1963, he was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems.

This poem talks about the trees going into hibernation. The moon, he describes is an elegant globe passing through the white branches. Everything is serene and calm just like a white dream.
The Snow Man
snow man
Poet: Wallace Stevens
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
Wallace Stevens, a noted American modern poet was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, on October 2, 1879. He was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his Collected Poems in 1955. Most of his works are based on imagination and reality of life. He died on August 2, 1955, aged 75, in Hartford, Connecticut.

The poem is written from the viewpoint of a snowman who has a mind of snow, and looks at the world from a winter perspective. The snowman is devoid of feelings and emotions, and stands in the snow watching the junipers shagged with ice and the glittering spruces with a sense of bareness and monotony.

He stands stripped in the cold wind and the warm January sun without having any feeling of remorsefulness. He does not feel miserable for his condition. He stands in the same place for days and nights on end owing nothing to the world.
Winter Song
snow on road
Poet: Wilfred Owen
The browns, the olives, and the yellows died,
And were swept up to heaven; where they glowed
Each dawn and set of sun till Christmastide,
And when the land lay pale for them, pale-snowed,
Fell back, and down the snow-drifts flamed and flowed.

From off your face, into the winds of winter,
The sun-brown and the summer-gold are blowing;
But they shall gleam with spiritual glinter,
When paler beauty on your brows falls snowing,
And through those snows my looks shall be soft-going.
Wilfred Edward Salter Owen, a noted English poet and soldier, was born in Oswestry in Shropshire on 18 March, 1893. He became famous for his realistic depictions of the war through his poetry. He died serving his country on 4 November, 1918 while crossing the Sambre-Oise Canal.

The poet beautifully describes the transition of nature from fall to winter. He says that the warm colors of the leaves are soon going to be replaced by the pale, white, winter snow. The landscape will be soon dressed in white, and cold winds will start blowing. Everything will look so pure and soft under the white snow.
The Sky is Low, The Clouds Are Mean
mountain
Poet: Emily Dickinson
The sky is low, the clouds are mean,
A travelling flake of snow
Across a barn or through a rut
Debates if it will go.

A narrow wind complains all day
How some one treated him;
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem.
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson, an imminent American poet was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1830. The central theme in all her poems dealt with death and immortality. Most of her works were published after her death.

The poet catches the essence of nature just before a snowstorm, describing the sky cast low, and the winds blowing strong. The snowflakes seem to drift across the landscape, and the whole nature seems to dwell in self-pity, or seems like it's portraying its bad mood.
Winter Morning Poem
winter morning
Poet: Ogden Nash
Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snow men,
And houses into birthday cakes,
And spreading sugar over lakes.

Smooth and clean and frosty white,
The world looks good enough to bite.
That's the season to be young
Catching snowflakes on your tongue.

Snow is snowy when it's snowing
I'm sorry it's slushy when it's going.
Frederick Ogden Nash, a well-known American poet was born in Rye, New York, on August 19, 1902. He is known to depict life humorously through his poems. He died in North Hampton, New Hampshire on May 19, 1971.

This short, humorous poem is written through a child's perspective of winter. The poet describes with childlike innocence that the snow-covered trees look like giant snowmen, the houses look like giant cakes with white icing on them, and the frosty, white lakes look as if sugar has been spread over them. The whole world looks ready to eaten, and it's fun to catch the snowflakes on the tongue. The snow is great when it is frosty and white but feels slushy when it starts to melt.
Winter Eyes
Snow House
Poet: Douglas Florian
Look at winter
With winter eyes
As smoke curls from rooftops
To clear cobalt skies.

Breathe in winter
Past winter nose:
The sweet scent of black birch
Where velvet moss grows.
Walk through winter
With winter feet
On crackling ice
Or sloshy wet sleet.

Look at winter
With winter eyes:
The rustling of oak leaves
As spring slowly nears.
Douglas Florian, a modern poet and artist, was born and raised in New York City. His works are mostly beautifully illustrated poems for children, about nature. He mainly uses wordplay, neologisms, rhyme, and humor. He currently lives in New York with his family.

The poet describes that the world looks beautiful when looks at it with winter eyes. One can see white smoke curled up on the rooftops and the clear, blue skies. Winter goes right into the bones when you breath in the chill air while walking through the sloshy, white snow smelling the birch and the velvet moss. The feet get wet under crackling ice, and the leaves rustle as you pass by. There is spring approaching soon but the snow tells you it's still winter, you know.
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
Poet: Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Lee Frost a noted American poet was born in San Francisco, California on March 26, 1874. He is highly respected for his realistic descriptions of life through his poetic work. He was honored four times with the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He also won the Congressional Gold Medal in 1960 for his poetical works, and was also named Poet laureate of Vermont by the state legislature through Joint Resolution R-59 of the Acts of 1961. His works are considered as an artistic institution of poetry.

In this classic poem, the poet appears to take the role of a traveler on a snowy, dark winter evening. He and his horse find themselves in a dark wood, and wonder where they are. The traveler admires the woods and wonders to whom it belongs The place is so isolated that there is no farmhouse or any other sign of human dwellings around. There is just a frozen lake. It's blissfully silent, and the sound he can hear is that of the frosty wind while the snow is falling.

He is totally enthralled by the white snow falling on the cedars, and watches it with fascination. He finds everything lovely in the deep dark woods, but is nostalgic that he has to complete his journey and will have to leave this breathtaking sight soon.
Winter-Time
Poet: Robert Louis Stevenson
Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson, a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 13 November, 1850. He was the most celebrated literary figure of his time, and his works have been the subject of admiration by many. He died on 3 December, 1894, aged 44, on Vailima, Samoa Islands.

This rhyming poetry sounds like a classic winter tale. The poet describes the sun to be lazy as it wakes up late during the winter mornings. It shines for an hour or two, then, again disappears for a dark slumber. It's just like how humans who do not want to wake up early on cold winter mornings.

The poet talks rising up early to sit near the warmth of the fireplace, or to go on a sledge ride exploring the winter-laden land. He finds comfort in his warm clothes as the cold, bitter wind makes his nose frosty, and burns his face. He goes on to describe the landscape as being a white wedding cake due to the thick snow. Everything looks beautiful and white except for the icy cold weather.
Winter Song
Poet: Katherine Mansfield
Rain and wind, and wind and rain.
Will the Summer come again?
Rain on houses, on the street,
Wetting all the people's feet,
Though they run with might and main.
Rain and wind, and wind and rain.

Snow and sleet, and sleet and snow.
Will the Winter never go?
What do beggar children do
With no fire to cuddle to,
P'rhaps with nowhere warm to go?
Snow and sleet, and sleet and snow.

Hail and ice, and ice and hail,
Water frozen in the pail.
See the robins, brown and red,
They are waiting to be fed.
Poor dears, battling in the gale!
Hail and ice, and ice and hail.
Katherine Mansfield Beauchamp Murry, a modernist writer, was born in Wellington, New Zealand on 14 October, 1888. Most of her amazing works were published after her death. The government of New Zealand holds an annual award ceremony in her honor where aspiring short story writers are rewarded for their work.

Through this poem, the poet paints a miserable picture of the winter season. She worries about the plight of children living on the streets stating where would they hide from the snow?, or how would they keep themselves warm?, with snow and sleet everywhere. She feels these little ones are most caught helpless during winter nights.

She feels strongly for the little birds out in the snow, especially, the young ones who are waiting for their parents to return with food. She wonders how they keep themselves warm in the icy weather, having to battle the cold winds. Winter seems to test the perseverance and patience of, both, humans and animals alike.
Christmas Carol
"In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter,
Long ago."
Hope you enjoyed reading these poems, wishing you all the fun and cheer that winter brings!