Ground Control Parenting – Carol Sutton Lewis

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Ages 13-15

Thoughtful Thursday: Winter Poetry

Winter is on its way, and if you are on the East Coast, baby, it’s cold outside! Today’s Thoughtful Thursday ushers in December with a group of great winter poems. First up is “Winter Trees”, by William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), an ode to the beauty of a winter forest. In “Those Winter Sundays” Robert Hayden (1913-1980) reminds us that a father’s love can keep out the harshest cold. And finally here’s a nod to the coming holiday season with another tree poem, this one by e.e. cummings (1894-1964), “[little tree]”. You can’t help but smile as you read this child’s conversation with a Christmas tree. (This one is especially fun to read aloud with your children.) Share them all and Enjoy.

Winter Trees

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

William Carlos Williams

Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

Robert Hayden

[little tree]

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
“Noel Noel”

e.e. cummings

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