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Best Famous January Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous January poems. This is a select list of the best famous January poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous January poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of january poems.

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by Wallace Stevens | |

The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter 
To regard the frost and the boughs 
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; 

And have been cold a long time 
To behold the junipers shagged with ice, 
The spruces rough in the distant glitter 

Of the January sun; and not to think 
Of any misery in the sound of the wind, 
In the sound of a few leaves, 

Which is the sound of the land 
Full of the same wind 
That is blowing in the same bare place 

For the listener, who listens in the snow, 
And, nothing himself, beholds 
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.


by Richard Wilbur | |

Orchard Trees January

 It's not the case, though some might wish it so
Who from a window watch the blizzard blow

White riot through their branches vague and stark,
That they keep snug beneath their pelted bark.
They take affliction in until it jells To crystal ice between their frozen cells, And each of them is inwardly a vault Of jewels rigorous and free of fault, Unglimpsed until in May it gently bears A sudden crop of green-pronged solitaires.


by Helen Hunt Jackson | |

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 Julie Hill Alger | |

Marketplace Report January 23, 1991

The new war is a week old.
Bombs fall on Baghdad, missiles on Tel Aviv.
The voice on the radio says the armament dealers of Europe are hopeful that a longer war will be good for business.
They say, as fighting continues there will be wear and tear on matériel.
Spare parts must be manufactured, as well as replacements for equipment blown apart, shattered, set afire.
Prudently, the merchants consult their spreadsheets.
They guard against euphoria and prepare for a possible downside to this bonanza: the Allies are shooting at their best customer, Saddam Hussein.
If he loses their market will be depressed.
There is also a danger of restrictions on sales to angry dictators.
Thus, the longterm effects of the war may not all be positive.


by Ted Kooser | |

In January

 Only one cell in the frozen hive of night
is lit, or so it seems to us:
this Vietnamese café, with its oily light,
its odors whose colorful shapes are like flowers.
Laughter and talking, the tick of chopsticks.
Beyond the glass, the wintry city creaks like an ancient wooden bridge.
A great wind rushes under all of us.
The bigger the window, the more it trembles.


by Pablo Neruda | |

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 Dale Harcombe | |

For Joseph

 Your ears will never hear sounds
  that to me are ordinary as air.
From the hour that you were born the tight white shell of silence closed around you.
You edged away from friendship.
Silence clung and stung like sand, smothering words before they could break free.
Sand has a brittle sound as it stutters underfoot.
But you are no longer like sand.
Though your ears will still never hear, words gather, demanding as seagulls.
Now, you stretch wings towards the sky.
Glide closer to other lives.
Reach them with the rising tide of your imperfect speech.
*first published Westerly 1993 - Republished Central Western Daily January 12, 1996 recently republished in ‘On Common Water’ the Ginninderra 10th birthday anthology


by David Lehman | |

January 24

 I was about to be mugged by a man 
with a chain so angry he growled
at the Lincoln Center subway station
when out of nowhere appeared a tall
chubby-faced Hasidic Jew with peyot
and a black hat a black coat white shirt
with prayer-shawl fringes showing 
we walked together out of the station
and when we got outside and shook hands 
I noticed he was blind.
Goodbye, I said, as giddy as a man waking from an anesthetic in the recovery room, happy, with a hard-on.
The cabs were on strike on Broadway so beautiful a necklace of yellow beads I breathed in the fumes impossibly happy


by David Lehman | |

January 1

 Some people confuse inspiration with lightning
not me I know it comes from the lungs and air 
you breathe it in you breathe it out it circulates 
it's the breath of my being the wind across the face 
of the waters yes but it's also something that comes 
at my command like a turkey club sandwich 
with a cup of split pea soup or like tones 
from Benny Goodman's clarinet my clarinet 
the language that never fails to respond
some people think you need to be pure of heart
not true it comes to the pure and impure alike
the patient and impatient the lovers the onanists
and the virgins you just need to be able to listen
and talk at the same time and you'll hear it like
the long-delayed revelation at the end of the novel
which turns out to be something simple a traumatic
moment that fascinated us more when it was only
a fragment an old song a strange noise a mistake
of hearing a phone that wouldn't stop ringing


by David Lehman | |

Our Friendship (January 14)

 We have a name for it 
in the South: 
asshole buddies.
It means we've known each other so long it doesn't matter that he's an asshole in my opinion or I'm an asshole in his opinion or whatever And I want you to know I'm not from the South and you're not my buddy and it doesn't matter


by David Lehman | |

January 31 (The sky is crumbling...)

 The sky is crumbling into millions of paper dots
the wind blows in my face
so I duck into my favorite barber shop
and listen to Vivaldi and look in the mirror
reflecting the shopfront windows, Broadway
and 104th, and watch the dots blown by the wind
blow into the faces of the walkers outside
& here comes a thin old man swaddled in scarves,
he must be seventy-five, walking slowly,
and in his mind there is a young man dancing,
maybe seventeen years old, on a June evening --
he is that young man, I can tell, watching him walk


by David Lehman | |

January 31

 Nothing extends a phone
call more effectively than
saying you're on your way out
but she wants to tell you
the five things she requires
in a man one is intelligence
he must have a brain
also he must be good a term
she likes because it embraces both
the opposite of evil and "good in
bed" and you admire the way
she skillfully maneuvered the
conversation to the sex lives
of jazz fans who live in the Village
and the enduring validity
of the Cyrano story and so
well you wish you didn't have to go


by David Lehman | |

January 2

 The old war is over the new one has begun
between drivers and pedestrians on a Friday
in New York light is the variable and structure
the content according to Rodrigo Moynihan's
self-portraits at the Robert Miller Gallery where
the painter is serially pictured holding a canvas,
painting his mirror image, shirtless in summer,
with a nude, etc.
, it's two o'clock and I'm walking at top speed from the huddled tourists yearning to be a mass to Les Halles on Park and 28th for a Salade Niçoise I've just watched The Singing Detective all six hours of it and can't get it out of my mind, the scarecrow that turns into Hitler, the sad-eyed father wearing a black arm-band, the yellow umbrellas as Bing Crosby's voice comes out of Michael Gambon's mouth, "you've got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive, e-lim-inate the negative" advice as sound today as in 1945 though it also remains true that the only thing to do with good advice is pass it on


by David Lehman | |

January 3

 The shrink says, "Everything depends
on how many stuffed animals you had
as a boy," and my mother tells me my
father was left-handed and so is my son
and they're both named Joe whose favorite 
stuffed animal was a bear called Sweetheart
while I, the sole constant in this dream,
am carrying a little girl who has a gun
in her hand as I climb a brick wall
on the other side is unknown territory 
but it has to be better than this chase
down hilly streets where the angel disguised
as a man with red hair drives the wrong way
down a one-way street so he arrives late
at the library where his son is held hostage
he breaks in lifts the boy in his arms and tells
the one kind man he had met that he and
his brother would be saved but the others 
who had mocked him would surely die


by Edwin Morgan | |

Absence

 My shadow --
I woke to a wind swirling the curtains light and dark
and the birds twittering on the roofs, I lay cold
in the early light in my room high over London.
What fear was it that made the wind sound like a fire so that I got up and looked out half-asleep at the calm rows of street-lights fading far below? Without fire Only the wind blew.
But in the dream I woke from, you came running through the traffic, tugging me, clinging to my elbow, your eyes spoke what I could not grasp -- Nothing, if you were here! The wind of the early quiet merges slowly now with a thousand rolling wheels.
The lights are out, the air is loud.
It is an ordinary January day.
My shadow, do you hear the streets? Are you at my heels? Are you here? And I throw back the sheets.


by Ogden Nash | |

One Third Of The Calendar

 In January everything freezes.
We have two children.
Both are she'ses.
This is our January rule: One girl in bed, and one in school.
In February the blizzard whirls.
We own a pair of little girls.
Blessings upon of each the head ---- The one in school and the one in bed.
March is the month of cringe and bluster.
Each of our children has a sister.
They cling together like Hansel and Gretel, With their noses glued to the benzoin kettle.
April is made of impetuous waters And doctors looking down throats of daughters.
If we had a son too, and a thoroughbred, We'd have a horse, And a boy, And two girls In bed.


by Dorothy Parker | |

Braggart

 The days will rally, wreathing
Their crazy tarantelle;
And you must go on breathing,
But I'll be safe in hell.
Like January weather, The years will bite and smart, And pull your bones together To wrap your chattering heart.
The pretty stuff you're made of Will crack and crease and dry.
The thing you are afraid of Will look from every eye.
You will go faltering after The bright, imperious line, And split your throat on laughter, And burn your eyes with brine.
You will be frail and musty With peering, furtive head, Whilst I am young and lusty Among the roaring dead.


by Robert William Service | |

Birthday

 (16th January 1949)

I thank whatever gods may be
For all the happiness that's mine;
That I am festive, fit and free
To savour women, wit and wine;
That I may game of golf enjoy,
And have a formidable drive:
In short, that I'm a gay old boy
Though I be
 Seventy-and-five.
My daughter thinks.
because I'm old (I'm not a crock, when all is said), I mustn't let my feet get cold, And should wear woollen socks in bed; A worsted night-cap too, forsooth! To humour her I won't contrive: A man is in his second youth When he is Seventy-and-five.
At four-score years old age begins, And not till then, I warn my wife; At eighty I'll recant my sins, And live a staid and sober life.
But meantime let me whoop it up, And tell the world that I'm alive: Fill to the brim the bubbly cup - Here's health to Seventy-and-five!


by Robert William Service | |

I Shall Not Burn

 I have done with love and lust,
 I reck not for gold or fame;
I await familiar dust
 These frail fingers to reclaim:
 Not for me the tiger flame.
Not for me the furnace glow, Rage of fire and ashen doom; To sweet earth my bones bestow Where above a lowly tomb January roses bloom.
Fools and fools and fools are you Who your dears to fires confide; Give to Mother Earth her due: Flesh may waste but bone will bide,-- Let loved ones lie side by side.
Let God's Acre ever dream; Shed your tears and blossoms bring; On age-burnished bone will gleam Crucifix and wedding ring: Graves are for sweet comforting.
Curst be those who my remains Hurl to horror of the flames!


by Robert William Service | |

Finale

 Here is this vale of sweet abiding,
My ultimate and dulcet home,
That gently dreams above the chiding
of restless and impatient foam;
Beyond the hazards of hell weather,
The harceling of wind and sea,
With timbers morticed tight together
My old hulk havens happily.
The dawn exultantly discloses My lawn lit with mimosa gold; The joy of January roses Is with me when rich lands are cold; Serene with bells of beauty chiming, This dream domain to be belongs, By sweet conspiracy of rhyming, And virtue of some idle songs.
I thank the gracious Lord of Living Who gave me power and will to write: May I be worthy of His giving And win to merit in His sight.
.
.
.
O merciful and mighty Master, Though I have faltered in the past, Your scribe I be.
.
.
.
Despite disaster Let me be faithful to the last.


by Anne Sexton | |

Us

 I was wrapped in black
fur and white fur and
you undid me and then
you placed me in gold light
and then you crowned me,
while snow fell outside
the door in diagonal darts.
While a ten-inch snow came down like stars in small calcium fragments, we were in our own bodies (that room that will bury us) and you were in my body (that room that will outlive us) and at first I rubbed your feet dry with a towel becuase I was your slave and then you called me princess.
Princess! Oh then I stood up in my gold skin and I beat down the psalms and I beat down the clothes and you undid the bridle and you undid the reins and I undid the buttons, the bones, the confusions, the New England postcards, the January ten o’clcik night, and we rose up like wheat, acre after acre of gold, and we harvested, we harvested.


by Emily Dickinson | |

A Drunkard cannot meet a Cork

 A Drunkard cannot meet a Cork
Without a Revery --
And so encountering a Fly
This January Day
Jamaicas of Remembrance stir
That send me reeling in --
The moderate drinker of Delight
Does not deserve the spring --
Of juleps, part are the Jug
And more are in the joy --
Your connoisseur in Liquours
Consults the Bumble Bee --


by Emily Dickinson | |

What care the Dead for Chanticleer --

 What care the Dead, for Chanticleer --
What care the Dead for Day?
'Tis late your Sunrise vex their face --
And Purple Ribaldry -- of Morning

Pour as blank on them
As on the Tier of Wall
The Mason builded, yesterday,
And equally as cool --

What care the Dead for Summer?
The Solstice had no Sun
Could waste the Snow before their Gate --
And knew One Bird a Tune --

Could thrill their Mortised Ear
Of all the Birds that be --
This One -- beloved of Mankind
Henceforward cherished be --

What care the Dead for Winter?
Themselves as easy freeze --
June Noon -- as January Night --
As soon the South -- her Breeze

Of Sycamore -- or Cinnamon --
Deposit in a Stone
And put a Stone to keep it Warm --
Give Spices -- unto Men --


by Carl Sandburg | |

Fish Crier

 I KNOW a Jew fish crier down on Maxwell Street with a
voice like a north wind blowing over corn stubble
in January.
He dangles herring before prospective customers evincing a joy identical with that of Pavlowa dancing.
His face is that of a man terribly glad to be selling fish, terribly glad that God made fish, and customers to whom he may call his wares, from a pushcart.


by Charles Baudelaire | |

The Venal Muse

 O muse of my heart, lover of palaces, 
Will you bring, when January lets loose its sleet 
And its black evenings without solace, 
An ember to warm my violet feet? 
What will revive your bruised shoulders, 
The nocturnal rays that pierce the shutters? 
When you cannot feel your palace, just your empty billfold, 
How will you harvest the gold of azure vaults and gutters? 

You should, to earn your bread today 
Like a choir boy with a censer to wave, 
Sings hymns with feeling but without belief.
Or, a starving rip-off artist, selling your charm And your laughter shades the tears so no one sees the harm In bringing to bloom an ordinary rat, a vulgar thief.