midwinter spring

midwinter spring


Midwinter spring is its own season…
When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,
In windless cold that is the heart’s heat,
Reflecting in a watery mirror
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.
And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,
Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire
In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing
The soul’s sap quivers. There is no earth smell
Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
But not in time’s covenant. Now the hedgerow
Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
Of snow, a bloom more sudden
Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,
Not in the scheme of generation.
Where is the summer, the unimaginable
Zero summer?

T.S.Eliot, from Four Quartets


One thought on “midwinter spring

  1. this is a beautiful poem. I agree with your leaving out the second line in the original.
    It is so deeply in touch with the nature of the day- the day that exists in his imagination. And recently here in Denver we have had several gorgeous days that are just like it- midwinter spring. Along the same lines- listen to the Rite of Spring by Stravinsky
    I always liked other parts of this long poem, because of its philosophical thread, but you called attention to this– I think one of the most beautiful.

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