Sunday Poetry: Later There Was Sleet

Welcome to Sunday Poetry.   If this is your first visit you can read about the purpose and inspiration of my Sunday poetry blogs here.

When I chose this poem early in the month I knew we were expecting snow that weekend, perhaps as much as an inch, but it never materialized.  We’ve had a sprinkling or two in Northern Virginia this winter, but not enough to convince my moss phlox that spring hasn’t arrived.  I see pink and lavender blossoms sprinkled like stars over the mossy ground, and the closest thing to snow are snowdrops blooming with my crocuses.  Winter seems like an event in our mutual past.  So with no snow on my southern horizon, I thought I would conjure up some with this wonderful poem, in case I don’t have another climate-driven opportunity.

Midwinter by John Unterecker is a visual portrait of a winter night in Donegal.  When I read it I feel as if I’m  there with him. The Poetry Foundation website, which I’ve linked to, also gives us a chance to learn a little about the poet.  Enjoy that, too, although nowhere is there mention of Unterecker’s birthplace, so whether he is actually from Ireland, or simply able to call up this imagery from his study of W. B. Yeats, I leave for you to discover.  I couldn’t.

Remember there are no quizzes here, no right ways to read or contemplate the poem we share.  Absolutely no dissecting allowed.  Just come along for the “read.”  What line, word or thought will you carry with you this week?  If you’d like to tell us where the poem took you?  We’ll listen.


  1. Audrey Bonnell on February 19, 2012 at 8:48 am

    This is a poem that almost makes me think winters here are not so bad after all. Really enjoyed his flare with words. Thanks again for a great poem to start the day

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