Posted by: poet kate hutchinson | December 24, 2016

Thoughts on Longest Night

I’m not one to write metaphoric poems.  They can be overly dramatic and seem old-fashioned, reminiscent of the great Romantics of prior centuries. But on the Solstice this year, I couldn’t avoid feeling as if we were all trapped in a metaphor of serious consequence.  The events of the last several weeks have left millions of us stunned and rudderless.  Reality is not offering much that is poetic at this year’s end, which is supposed to be a time when we feel the anticipation of the return of the light.   So, metaphor it is — with a nod to the often cheerless William Blake.


The Coming Dark



We wander out into the field,

stars hidden behind clouds,

the snow glowing gently purple

in the day’s remaining light.


We’ve forgotten what we seek

but here we are, in winter’s dark,

our deep tracks behind us

to tell us where we’ve been.


Blake wrote of Winter raising

his scepter over the world

to “wither all in silence.”

We tunnel into a drift to sleep.



We’ll search until we find

the elixir we know we need.

Chill settles into our bones but

we have warmth yet. We breathe.




  1. So, you wrote “The Coming Dark,” right? I liked it. Perhaps we are better off risking the dramatic and the old-fashioned. Far better, I think, than the lack of warmth I sense in much of today’s poetry.

  2. Yes, it’s all I could muster at this point, Margie! I fear for the world.

  3. I like it also Kate. And we know we have a lot of Family & friends feeling the same way.

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