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What poem comes to mind on this cold winter's day?


The walking path at the University at Albany
The walking path at the University at Albany

Today's weather, brought to you by the NYS Writers Institute:

It's quite cold outside.


In other news, NPR is reporting Amanda Gorman will take part in Super Bowl festivities, reading a new poem on Sunday, Feb. 7, before the Kansas City Chiefs play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


Her new poem "will honor three Americans — Los Angeles educator Trimaine Davis, Florida nurse manager Suzie Dorner and Pittsburgh-based James Martin, a Marine veteran who volunteers with the Wounded Warrior Project and who has taken in local kids facing issues at home — for their work during the coronavirus pandemic. The three have also been named honorary captains for the Super Bowl by the NFL."


Back to the weather...

What is your favorite poem on the theme of super-cold weather? We'll kick it off with White-Eyes, a heartwarming poem by National Book Award winning poet Mary Oliver (1935-2019). She was a special guest of the NYS Writers Institute in the spring of 1987.


You may purchase Mary Oliver's books of poetry at the local, independent Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza using this link: https://www.bhny.com/search/site/Mary%20Oliver


White-Eyes By Mary Oliver

In winter all the singing is in the tops of the trees where the wind-bird with its white eyes shoves and pushes among the branches. Like any of us he wants to go to sleep, but he's restless— he has an idea, and slowly it unfolds from under his beating wings as long as he stays awake. But his big, round music, after all, is too breathy to last. So, it's over. In the pine-crown he makes his nest, he's done all he can. I don't know the name of this bird, I only imagine his glittering beak tucked in a white wing while the clouds— which he has summoned from the north— which he has taught to be mild, and silent— thicken, and begin to fall into the world below like stars, or the feathers of some unimaginable bird

that loves us, that is asleep now, and silent— that has turned itself into snow.

Source: Poetry (Poetry Foundation, 2002)


What is your favorite poem for cold-cold-cold winter's day?

Share it below and tell us why it speaks to you.


Stay warm, folks. Only 49 days until spring!


NYS Writers Institute

Science Library 320

University at Albany

1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222

(518) 442-5620

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