Some winter solace

It’s quite cold in Alaska right now. The kind of blue cracking cold that is beautiful but stinging. The kind of cold that makes iron of snow and ice beneath all. And yet, it’s important to get outside, to fill our eyes with sunlight, to remember that this time has beauty unavailable at other, perhaps more temperate, times of year.

Lines for Winter

Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon’s gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.

  • Mark Strand (from Selected Poems)

2 Replies to “Some winter solace”

  1. Oh Erin, thank you for this poem, a favorite I have overlooked in recent times. I will now go digging for my Mark Strand poems. Tonight (or tomorrow night) it is to be 20 below in Muldoon. I will no doubt be re-reading the poem if it hits that mark. Or will read it again anyway. Stay Warm!

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