Winter Comes Too Soon

This poem is still in rewrite, rethinking.  Autumn/Winter usually throws me into poetry that reflects the monumental changes around us.  But what I am finding out is it isn’t enough just to notice and write into poetry those external changes in our environment.  I think that realizing the internal changes, those thoughts and memories of the past and now present…well, they, combined with those external, outside things makes for something perhaps deeper.  Frost did exactly this: an eye to the environment and a thought to humankind’s connection.  One followed the other.

Lady Nyo



That too-fickle season

Has thrown off Jacob’s coat

And turned to winter.

Gone the leaves

Brilliant hummingbirds,  airborne jewels

Illuminated in prismatic splendor

By the sun piercing a brittle blue sky–

Replaced  with blackened limbs

Stretching naked arms towards a now glowering sky.

The season of alms and hunger has begun.

Gone are the pelting rains

Which poured down window panes

Like crinkled crepe paper

Distorting our view of the shearing outside.

Gone, too are the golden sunsets

Where a beam of light transposes

Distant trees, paints the belly of clouds.

The leaves and color are gone

And that is as it should be.

What is now outside

Hints at what is growing inside–

This long passage through a muted season.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009

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5 Responses to “Winter Comes Too Soon”

  1. Berowne Says:

    Very nice. It reminds me of Shakespeare’s

    That time of year thou mayst in me behold
    When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
    Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
    Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Oh lovely! Shakespeare and a ‘reminds me of”….

    Thank you, Berowne.

    “Bare ruined choirs”….now that has evocative power.

    Again, thank you.


  3. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Malcolm…

    They are two very different poems…though seemingly to be similar. I like “First Snow” for the reasons of environment playing off memories…that ‘internal landscape’ of the human conversation/connection to environment.

    “Winter Comes Too Soon” is just environment, and I think it limited there. However, a couple of people have expressed liking “Winter” more.

    I hope to write a blog entry soon on comparisons of Frost and Wordworth, but this is early in the study.

    As to Nick’s criterion, ….I have to admit that Nick is a pretty powerful poet. Iconoclastic.

    Who knows? Perhaps it looks like prose on the page? LOL!

    However, I am becoming more aware of the issues of rhythm (not rhyme) in lines….
    And I am seeing how it is like vocal music: there are retardations on a line, phrases that propel forward the sentiment, meaning,….emphasis, etc.

    I think reading out loud is so important to the forming a poem. Silence between stanzas, phrases, etc….all work into the total package of a poem.

    Try reading your poems out loud, as you have formed them. Take the last three…
    See what comes of it.

    By the way, I still think “First Snow” superior to “Winter”. I think it’s that connection to human memories….that we don’t live in environment alone. We people it with our own ghosts.

    Lady Nyo


  4. Malcolm Says:

    Reading my poems out loud. I do that now, at what’s called a ‘Poetry Slam’ in a local bistro, and will be attending another two later this week. I enjoy reading them, and so far have had only positive and no negative commets. I’ve always written in what are close to my normal speech patterns, even as a science writer for newspapers and magazines. I may have already read those latest three to an audience. As an actor I find this easy, and the instant bodily responses from the listeners are great feedback. I suppose that not all poetry is accessible enough for easy reading or listening – I wonder about some of the things written by young writers who, like young artists, are determined that they will not follow old patterns. But we all communicate by spoken words every day, and our systems are most responsive to them.


  5. ladynyo Says:

    Then you are doubly blessed being an actor, etc.

    And that you get only positive and no negative comments is wonderful! That is something that I have yet to attain. Even my closest friends, some who are good writers and sometimes poets, generally hate my poetry. Some days I despair of ever making another poem. But I trudge on.

    I guess it’s only in the doing that you become a better and better poet. Like the Japanese say, you are only truly educated when you have written a 1000 verses….and can recite from memory. (That was the standard in 10th century Japan for women of the court. Pretty vigorous.)

    But we write poetry because something sparks off a poem. Be it environment, that pesky internal landscape I referred to, or something else.

    I think it wonderful that you have self-published 4 books of poetry. May you continue to write and publish more.

    I think that poetry is not for everyone. I know good and fine wordsmiths who are unmoved by verse: they don’t have the inner something that it takes to be a poet. And I think poets generally dare it all.

    Lady Nyo


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