Poetry Sunday: February by John Updike

In "A Child's Calendar," John Updike wrote a poem for each month of the year. This is the one he wrote for February. It doesn't paint a picture of my February - no snow here - but I'm sure residents of more northerly climes will recognize the scenes he describes.


by John Updike

The sun rides higher
Every trip.
The sidewalk shows.
Icicles drip.

A snowstorm comes,
And cars are stuck,
And ashes fly
From the old town truck.

The chickadees
Grow plump on seed
That Mother pours
Where they can feed,

And snipping, snipping
Scissors run
To cut out hearts
For everyone.


  1. Lovely little verse, Dorothy, but winter here has become a mere shadow of its former self. The chickadees are still here though. Had them on my hand yesterday.

    1. We feel the difference even here in the South. I remember much colder weather and we even sometimes got snow when I was growing up. But those days are gone it seems. I saw the picture of that trusting little chickadee perched on a hand. Amazing!

  2. February used to be our month of snow, bitter cold, and chickadees. Today it's sunny and supposed to go up to the 40's. But we still have chickadees and children snipping out valentine hearts. The poem reminds me of winters past, though.

  3. Well, it's hardly what he was known for, is it? But at one time or another he apparently tried just about every kind of writing.

  4. This is quite a lovely little poem. Thank you for sharing it, Dorothy.

  5. ...this was true for the Februarys of my youth, but do to climate change, February is now like March!

  6. Cutting out hearts for everyone! Valentine's is coming up .... good timing.


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