Poetry Sunday: Winter Trees by William Carlos Williams

I love the look of the deciduous trees in winter after they've shed their leaves and stand naked under the sky. The trees in our yard are mostly evergreen - live oaks and magnolia - but we do have some that shed their leaves, notably a red oak that is a particular favorite of mine. Of course, it never sheds all of its leaves, as Penelope, the wife of Odysseus in Greek myth, was well aware. But in the present day, the "disattiring" of the trees is basically complete now. Winter, if not actually here yet, is waiting on the doorstep and the trees "stand sleeping in the cold."  

Winter Trees

by William Carlos Williams

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.


  1. They do indeed sleep in the cold, getting ready to burst forth again next spring, as they always do.

  2. Sleeping through winter,until the secret signal that always amazes me.

  3. I love this poem! So simple yet so beautiful. :D

  4. Oh, yes, William Carlos Williams. I can always imagine Dr. Williams looking out the window one cold winter day, and scribbling down a poem between patients.


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