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Winter (Patmore)

coventry patmore winter poem art painting

Acrylic on card, 21 x 10.4 cm. 2020. SOLD

A poem by Coventry Patmore:

I, Singularly moved

To love the lovely that are not beloved,

Of all the Seasons, most

Love Winter, and to trace

The sense of the Trophonian pallor on her face.        

It is not death, but plenitude of peace;

And the dim cloud that does the world enfold

Hath less the characters of dark and cold

Than warmth and light asleep,

And correspondent breathing seems to keep        

With the infant harvest, breathing soft below

Its eider coverlet of snow.

Nor is in field or garden anything

But, duly look’d into, contains serene

The substance of things hoped for, in the Spring,        

And evidence of Summer not yet seen.

[ ... ]


But sweeter yet than dream or song of Summer or Spring

Are Winter’s sometime smiles, that seem to well

From infancy ineffable;

Her wandering, languorous gaze,

So unfamiliar, so without amaze,        

On the elemental, chill adversity,

The uncomprehended rudeness; and her sigh

And solemn, gathering tear,

And look of exile from some great repose, the sphere

Of ether, moved by ether only, or        

By something still more tranquil.

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