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    Photograph of icy twigs outlined by golden wintry light.

    Winter Poems

    Set to music by Becca Stevens

    By Jane Tyson Clement

    February 2, 2016
    • Nancy Garland

      Such heartfelt poems.

    • Deborah

      I'm so grateful you've introduced me to her writing !

    • Rapoona

      Thank you for these beautiful words. Real touch of the wild & wonderful with God present.


    The dark emerging trees
    from the new-winter wood
    are lovelier than leaves,
    as cold is also good.

    The heart’s necessities
    include the interlude
    of frost-constricted peace
    on which the sun can brood.

    The strong and caustic air
    that strikes us to the bone
    blows till we see again
    the weathered shape of home.

    No season of the soul
    strips clear the face of God
    save cold and frozen wind
    upon the frozen sod.


    February Thaw

    On the wet bank’s rim we stand,
    the air wild with the beating rain;
    the sodden wood awry
    with wild wind from the driven sky:
    (and I know deeply and with pain
    we stand here once and not again.)

    The crumbling, heaving thrust of ice,
    the thundering tumult of the falls,
    familiar crisis of the year,
    the swift blood beating in the ear:
    (but only once, within the heart
    the ice piles ready to depart.)

    The men are knotted by the dam,
    the grinding floes rear up and roar
    and press and push; and with a shout
    we watch the jam come tumbling out:
    (so may we shout, so may we sing,
    O blessed thaw, O holy spring.)


    Jazz and folk musician Becca Stevens wove together the lyrics for her song “Tillery” drawing on these two poems by Jane Tyson Clement, as well as her own composition. Hear it on her 2015 album “Perfect Animal” and watch the YouTube video below. Stevens has been acclaimed by The New York Times as “a singer and guitarist with a profound originality enhanced by an innate sense of melody.”


    These poems and others by Jane Clement can be found in The Heart's Necessities.

    Photograph of icy twigs outlined by golden wintry light.
    Contributed By JaneTysonClement Jane Tyson Clement

    Jane Tyson Clement (1917–2000) was a poet, author, and playwright.

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