Although Oklahoma’s Winter weather is amazingly diverse, having 70 degree weather one day and 30 degrees the next, most of the United States is “enjoying” very cold, snowy, and sometimes dreary winter days. In the cold and dreariness of winter some authors become inspired to write stories, songs, and poetry that depict the winter months. Here at Special Collections we have a wide assortment of poetry. Within our poetic works we house many poems dedicated to the changing seasons. While looking through the catalog, searching for winter, I discovered several select poems that have beautiful illustrations depicting the winter months.
In Winter Robert Burns poetically illustrates how he prefers the winter weather because the weather in winter most accurately portrays his internal emotions.
“The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,’
The joyless winter day
Let other fear, to me more dear
Than all the Pride of May:
The tempest’s howl, it soothes me soul,
My grief it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine!” (Burns, Winter)
Alongside his poem Burns included small colored sketches depicting flora and fauna of Winter. These sketches were drawn by Marlene Staniforth. Staniforth’s sketches were commonly used by New Broom Press, the publishing company that published Burns’ Winter.
In our collection we also have a small assortment of Christmas and Winter greeting cards. These greetings cards are unique because of their hand drawn illustrations and poetic verses. In one of the greeting cards is a poem describing winter birds
Before my time to rise,
And heard a Robin and a Thrush
Cheering winter skies”
(W.H. Davies, In Winter).
Alongside the poem is a large sketch of a winter robin. In the second card I chose I found a poem titled Song by W.J. Turner portraying a winter wood standing bare alongside a cold waterfall. Alongside this poem is a color sketch of a young girl chancing upon the waterfall. These cards were published in collaboration with the Poetry Bookshop in London and are part of a larger series of cards which we also house here at special collections.
These poems, cards, and much more can be found at Special Collections on the fifth floor of McFarlin library. If you enjoy poetry or art visit us Monday through Friday during are regular operating hours.