Winter Words: A Celebration of the Winter Season in Poetry and Prose

This event on 8 December was led by Julia Cousins, and provided an opportunity to look at the themes of winter, advent and the joy of Christmas in poetry and prose.

The poems read included 'Walking Home from Oak-Head' by Mary Oliver, Thomas Hardy's 'The Darkling Thrush', Edwin Muir's 'The Angel and the Girl', and Henry Vaughan's 'The True Christmas', and this poem by Roy Campbell:

I love to see, when leaves depart,
The clear anatomy arrive,
Winter, the paragon of art,
That kills all forms of life and feeling
Save what is pure and will survive.

Already now the clanging chains
Of geese are harnessed to the moon:
Stripped are the great sun-clouding planes:
And the dark pines, their own revealing,
Let in the needles of the noon.

Strained by the gale the olives whiten
Like hoary wrestlers bent with toil
And, with the vines, their branches lighten
To brim our vats where summer lingers
In the red froth and sun-gold oil.

Soon on our hearth's reviving pyre
Their rotted stems will crumble up:
And like a ruby, panting fire,
The grape will redden on your fingers
Through the lit crystal of the cup.

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