Year's End by Richard Wilbur

So much to tell and so much to share.  I hope you all survived the holidays without incident.  Happy 2015 my dears!

Year's End
by Richard Wilbur

Now winter downs the dying of the year,  
And night is all a settlement of snow;
From the soft street the rooms of houses show  
A gathered light, a shapen atmosphere,  
Like frozen-over lakes whose ice is thin  
And still allows some stirring down within.

I’ve known the wind by water banks to shake
The late leaves down, which frozen where they fell  
And held in ice as dancers in a spell  
Fluttered all winter long into a lake;  
Graved on the dark in gestures of descent,  
They seemed their own most perfect monument.

There was perfection in the death of ferns  
Which laid their fragile cheeks against the stone  
A million years. Great mammoths overthrown  
Composedly have made their long sojourns,  
Like palaces of patience, in the gray
And changeless lands of ice. And at Pompeii

The little dog lay curled and did not rise  
But slept the deeper as the ashes rose
And found the people incomplete, and froze  
The random hands, the loose unready eyes  
Of men expecting yet another sun
To do the shapely thing they had not done.

These sudden ends of time must give us pause.  
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
More time, more time. Barrages of applause  
Come muffled from a buried radio.
The New-year bells are wrangling with the snow.


  1. That's a great one, I love it! Happy new year to you! I hope it will be filled with happiness and health!

  2. And now a fresh beginning. Happy new year (again)! Thank you for sharing this. I enjoyed Year's End. The "shapely thing" confused me a little though.

  3. Happy New Year to you! That poem is just lovely.

    Katrina Sophia

  4. Happy New Year! Can't wait to catch up!

  5. Happy New Year! Can't wait to hear all the things you have to tell. xo

  6. I hope you´ll get a great 2015 and that your aunt will be well!

  7. Happy New Year!
    The new year bells truly did wrangle with snow here in Zurich, but last night's rain melted most of it, thank goodness! I hope you are doing great! xo

  8. Beautiful words to start the New Year. Hope you had a lovely holiday too!


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