O Winter! frozen pulse and heart of fire, What loss is theirs who from thy kingdom turn Dismayed, and think thy snow a sculptured urn Of death! Far sooner in midsummer tire The streams than under ice. June could not hire Her roses to forego the strength they learn In sleeping on thy breast. No fires can burn The bridges thou dost lay where men desire In vain to build. O Heart, when Love’s sun goes To northward, and the sounds of singing cease, Keep warm by inner fires, and rest in peace. Sleep on content, as sleeps the patient rose. Walk boldly on the white untrodden snows, The winter is the winter’s own release.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on January 5, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
The water is one thing, and one thing for miles.
The water is one thing, making this bridge
Built over the water another. Walk it
Early, walk it back when the day goes dim, everyone
Rising just to find a way toward rest again.
We work, start on one side of the day
Like a planet’s only sun, our eyes straight
Until the flame sinks. The flame sinks. Thank God
I’m different. I’ve figured and counted. I’m not crossing
To cross back. I’m set
On something vast. It reaches
Long as the sea. I’m more than a conqueror, bigger
Than bravery. I don’t march. I’m the one who leaps.
From The Tradition. Copyright © 2019 by Jericho Brown. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.
Copyright © 1994 by Naomi Replansky. “An Inheritance” originally appeared in The Dangerous World: New and Selected Poems, 1934-1994 (Another Chicago Press, 1994). Reprinted by permission of the author. All rights reserved.