To Winter, by William Blake

I’ve always had a soft spot for this poem, one of the set Blake wrote for the four seasons. Maybe it’s the word adamantine’s magnetic lure and post-punk allusions, but I really love the iron car, which I imagine as a used and battered 1980s Chevy Suburban.

“To Winter,” by William Blake, from Poetical Sketches, 1783

O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors:
The North is thine; there hast thou built thy dark
Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs,
Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.

He hears me not, but o’er the yawning deep
Rides heavy; his storms are unchained, sheathed
In ribbed steel; I dare not lift mine eyes;
For he hath reared his sceptre o’er the world.

Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o’er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and in his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.

He takes his seat upon the cliffs,—the mariner
Cries in vain. Poor little wretch, that deal’st
With storms!—till heaven smiles, and the monster
Is driv’n yelling to his caves beneath Mount Hecla.

Originally published at

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