Inside: January poems to start fresh today. New month, new year, new us. Get refreshed with these sonnets to the first month of the year
January 1 is the start of so many new things. Not only a new month, but obviously a new year as well. As you go into a new year, as cliche as it is, it’s simply the best time to get into some new mindsets.
Reading new resolutions and new health trends for the year can be so overwhelming when it comes to New Years, I love to embrace poetry that speaks to my soul and pull inspiration from that instead. You can’t go wrong with a little soul inspiration— it’s the most genuine and true to you version there is.
What are you looking for this year? Peace? A little ambition? Some new health or career goals? Find some January poems that will spur you on into a brand new year and brand new version of you! Okay maybe not a whole new version of yourself but at least a new fire under your seat to hit those goals and get going.
Maybe you’re not looking for anything other than some cozy vibes for this winter. As the weather drops, the need to get comfy and moody rises.
Poetry just naturally has a cozy and winter quality to it, like rain hitting your window or sipping a cup of tea. Nothing says curling up under a warm blanket better than reading winter poetry. If that’s what you’re here for today, you’ll find that too.
Whatever vibe or inspiration you need, you won’t be dissatisfied. Here are 9 January poems.
While poetry already has a very wintery feel to it, it’s a different story when it’s already centered around winter and all of its warming themes. When I think of winter, I think cozy. You won’t catch me out in that snow! I’ll watch it from the window, thank you very much. I’ve never been an outdoorsy kind of girl, but throw in the cold and wet vibes and I’m totally out. I love to see the snow from the window, but stay under my electric, heated blanket.
As you get ready to post up on the couch or in your favorite chair, here is some winter poetry just to feel the vibes all around. Enjoy it!
1. How Snow Is Deep On The Ground
The snow is deep on the ground.
Always the light falls
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd.
This is a good world.
The war has failed.
God shall not forget us.
Who made the snow waits where love is.
Only a few go mad.
The sky moves in its whiteness
Like the withered hand of an old king.
God shall not forget us.
Who made the sky knows of our love.
The snow is beautiful on the ground.
And always the lights of heaven glow
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd.
By Kenneth Patchen
2. Sonnet 97: How like a winter hath my absence been
How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December’s bareness everywhere!
And yet this time remov’d was summer’s time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime,
Like widow’d wombs after their lords’ decease:
Yet this abundant issue seem’d to me
But hope of orphans and unfather’d fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And thou away, the very birds are mute;
Or if they sing, ’tis with so dull a cheer
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter’s near.
By William Shakespeare
3. A Calendar of Sonnets: January
O Winter! frozen pulse and heart of fire,
What loss is theirs who from thy kingdom turn
Dismayed, and think thy snow a sculptured urn
Of death! Far sooner in midsummer tire
The streams than under ice. June could not hire
Her roses to forego the strength they learn
In sleeping on thy breast. No fires can burn
The bridges thou dost lay where men desire
In vain to build.
O Heart, when Love’s sun goes
To northward, and the sounds of singing cease,
Keep warm by inner fires, and rest in peace.
Sleep on content, as sleeps the patient rose.
Walk boldly on the white untrodden snows,
The winter is the winter’s own release.
By Helen Hunt Jackson
January poems are full of hope and ambition for the coming year and months ahead of us. A fresh start, while it feels nice most of the time can also feel intimidating and like the pressure is on to create an amazing year.
Let’s let the pressure fall off, and find some inspiration instead.
I’ve always been a believer that if you’re inspired in all the right ways, all of the right things will happen for you. Goals help to keep us on track practically, but sometimes it lacks passion. Inspiration triggers real and genuine action. Passion is truly what drives us forward, and passion is sparked by inspiration. So as you find yourself in a lull, wanting to start but not knowing how or where, I encourage you to just get a little inspired. It will come naturally!
Dig into these January poems to find the inspiration you need to go get everything you need this year.
4. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.
I love you only because it’s you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.
Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.
In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.
By Pablo Neruda
The short midwinter days are here,
The nights are frosty now and chill—
The solemn midnight of the year—
The snow lies deep on vale and hill.
No longer runs the streamlet nigh,
The ice has bound its waters fast;
An Arctic wind is sweeping by,
The bare trees shiver in the blast.
How changed the Schuylkill’s tide! no more
It sparkles in the noonday light;
The ice extends from shore to shore,
Its strength increasing, day and night.
The skaters o’er its surface fly,
In rhythmic motion, all the day,
While dark clouds sweep across the sky,
Foreboding tempests on the way.
And soon we see the storm begin,
All day the snowflakes scurry past,
All night we hear the tempest’s din,
The forests bend beneath the blast.
In whirling clouds the snow is hurled,
Along the hillside, down the glen;
Another day the whole bright world
Is shut by drifts beyond our ken.
But soon the sun resumes his sway,
His noontide beams are warm and bright;
The stubborn ice-bridge yields by day,
Though drear and sombre falls the night.
Alternate thaw and storm and cold,
With snowdrifts deep and changeful sky,
The earth in chill embrace enfold—
And so the month goes slowly by.
Midwinter days and nights so drear,
With storm-clouds sweeping o’er the sky—
The solemn midnight of the year
Soon pass and leave no token nigh.
Bare trees that quake beneath the blast,
Will yet be clothed in leafage bright,
And days so chill—the Winter past—
Be bathed in floods of Spring-time light.
By Ellwood Roberts
6. Advent Poem
We have tested and tasted too much, lover-
Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.
But here in the Advent-darkened room
Where the dry black bread and the sugarless tea
Of penance will charm back the luxury
Of a child’s soul, we’ll return to Doom
The knowledge we stole but could not use.
And the newness that was in every stale thing
When we looked at it as children: the spirit-shocking
Wonder in a black slanting Ulster hill
Or the prophetic astonishment in the tedious talking
Of an old fool will awake for us and bring
You and me to the yard gate to watch the whins
And the bog-holes, cart-tracks, old stables where Time begins.
O after Christmas we’ll have no need to go searching
For the difference that sets an old phrase burning-
We’ll hear it in the whispered argument of a churning
Or in the streets where the village boys are lurching.
And we’ll hear it among decent men too
Who barrow dung in gardens under trees,
Wherever life pours ordinary plenty.
Won’t we be rich, my love and I, and
God we shall not ask for reason’s payment,
The why of heart-breaking strangeness in dreeping hedges
Nor analyse God’s breath in common statement.
We have thrown into the dust-bin the clay-minted wages
Of pleasure, knowledge and the conscious hour-
And Christ comes with a January flower.
By Patrick Kavanagh
The Best January Poetry
The month of January is such a special month already, the start of something new, but there’s a subtle calmness to it as well after the rush of all of the holidays. While it’s kind of a let down too, there’s something so nice about taking a deep breath after everything so exciting happening for basically two months straight. From Halloween to New Years, it’s non-stop fun and it only seems to speed up to the new year until it all just stops.
Feel the refresh and deep breaths in this January poetry.
The snow is diamond for a fairy’s feet,
Blithely and bonnily she trips along,
Her lips a-carol with a merry song,
And in her eyes the meaning. “Life is sweet!”
The rhythm of youth is in her pulses’ beat,
The lissome form is beautiful and strong,
The happy heart is innocent of wrong.
Young Hope incarnate seems the earth to greet,
How fair is she—just pinker than the snow.
Behold—a roguish coyness in her face!
Ah see—a spray of saucy mistletoe
Is nestling in her hair. A chase! A chase!
A gleeful laugh,—the vision bright has paled,
Is lost in clouds her laughing breath exhaled.
By Ruby Archer
8. Ode Written On The First Of January
Come melancholy Moralizer–come!
Gather with me the dark and wintry wreath;
With me engarland now
The SEPULCHRE OF TIME!
Come Moralizer to the funeral song!
I pour the dirge of the Departed Days,
For well the funeral song
Befits this solemn hour.
But hark! even now the merry bells ring round
With clamorous joy to welcome in this day,
This consecrated day,
To Mirth and Indolence.
Mortal! whilst Fortune with benignant hand
Fills to the brim thy cup of happiness,
Whilst her unclouded sun
Illumes thy summer day,
Canst thou rejoice–rejoice that Time flies fast?
That Night shall shadow soon thy summer sun?
That swift the stream of Years
Rolls to Eternity?
If thou hast wealth to gratify each wish,
If Power be thine, remember what thou art–
Remember thou art Man,
And Death thine heritage!
Hast thou known Love? does Beauty’s better sun
Cheer thy fond heart with no capricious smile,
Her eye all eloquence,
Her voice all harmony?
Oh state of happiness! hark how the gale
Moans deep and hollow o’er the leafless grove!
Winter is dark and cold–
Where now the charms of Spring?
Sayst thou that Fancy paints the future scene
In hues too sombrous? that the dark-stol’d Maid
With stern and frowning front
Appals the shuddering soul?
And would’st thou bid me court her faery form
When, as she sports her in some happier mood,
Her many-colour’d robes
Dance varying to the Sun?
Ah vainly does the Pilgrim, whose long road
Leads o’er the barren mountain’s storm-vext height,
With anxious gaze survey
The fruitful far-off vale.
Oh there are those who love the pensive song
To whom all sounds of Mirth are dissonant!
There are who at this hour
Will love to contemplate!
For hopeless Sorrow hails the lapse of Time,
Rejoicing when the fading orb of day
Is sunk again in night,
That one day more is gone.
And he who bears Affliction’s heavy load
With patient piety, well pleas’d he knows
The World a pilgrimage,
The Grave the inn of rest.
By Robert Southey
9. I’m January
I’m January bringing you
A year of days—all brand, brand new;
I step upon the frosty ground.
When chimes and sleighbells ring around;
You welcome me and children sing,
And joy comes into everything.
I bring you love and lots of cheer,
And work and friends for all the year.
By Annette Wynne
January is so fresh and new, and the poetry in this post reflects it easily. As you break out all of the cold weather pieces and get ready to settle in for a long winter after all of the holidays have passed, check out these January poems meant to make you all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s a long haul through the winter when you no longer have Christmas or New Years to look forward to, but it’s easy when you embrace the cozy vibes that January and February bring.
Over the last few years, Texas has started to experience pretty hefty freezes in late January and early February, so each year I embrace being stuck at home (sound familiar?) with some of the best poems out there for the season.
I hope you found some here, especially if you’re preparing to be stuck at home! Here are some more winter centered poems for you.