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The polar winter – this is the planet at its most hostile. Those that stay here at this time must face the harshest conditions on Earth. David Attenborough, Frozen Planet V: Winter, BBC 2011
Winter brings a devastatingly destructive force: frost. ibid.
The Emperors are not entirely alone – the weddell seal – the only mammals to remain here during the winter. ibid.
Many animals here are remarkably long-lived. ibid.
The woods and the darkness and the howling wind! Will the snows never cease? We seem to reach back for ever. The Young Ones s1e1: Demolition, Russian couple next door, BBC 1982
All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray.
I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day.
I’d be safe and warm if I was in LA;
California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day. The Mamas and the Papas, California Dreamin’
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
LONDON. Michaelmas Term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln’s Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill. Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snow-flakes – gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Dogs, undistinguishable in mire. Horses, scarcely better; splashed to their very blinkers. Foot passengers, jostling one another’s umbrellas in a general infection of ill-temper, and losing their foot-hold at street-corners, where tens of thousands of other foot passengers have been slipping and sliding since the day broke (if the day ever broke), adding new deposits to the crust upon crust of mud, sticking at those points tenaciously to the pavement, and accumulating at compound interest. Charles Dickens, Bleak House
The white face of the winter day came sluggishly on, veiled in a frosty mist; and the shadowy ships in the river slowly changed to black substances; and the sun, blood-red on the eastern marshes behind dark masts and yards, seemed filled with the ruins of a forest it had set on fire. Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way
I have to go to bed by day. Robert Louis Stevenson
Cold biting winter mars our hoped-for hay. William Shakespeare, Richard Duke of York IV x 29
Now is the winter of our discontent. William Shakespeare, Richard III I i 1
When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp’d, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
To-whit! To-who! – a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all aloud the wind doe blow,
And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian’s nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
To-whit! To-who! – a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost V ii
Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude. William Shakespeare, As You Like It II vii 174
For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter, and confounds him there. William Shakespeare, Sonnet 5
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long. William Shakespeare, Sonnet 73
Always winter but never Christmas. C S Lewis, ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’
Frosty Morning, 1813: Two men digging a ditch, or is it a grave? You can feel the tough work of it. That hard frozen soil. Everything impassive, unsentimental, dour. How things really are. When did Constable ever do winter in the north? Simon Schama’s Power of Art: Turner, BBC 2006
I knew it was going to be a winter of discontent. James Callaghan
Winter is coming. Game of Thrones s1e1: Winter is Coming, starring Sean Bean & Mark Addy & Nikolai Coster Waldau & Michelle Fairley & Lena Headey & Emilia Clarke & Iain Glen & Harry Lloyd et al, director Tim van Patten, Sean Bean as Lord Stark, HBO 2011
Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born. Game of Thrones s5e5: Kill the Boy, old geezer to John Snow
O Wild West Wind, though breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing ...
Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lulled by the coil of his crystalline streams ...
The triumph of the prophecy! O, Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind. Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822, Ode to the West Wind
The world’s great age begins anew,
The golden years return,
The earth doth like a snake renew
Her winter weeds outworn. Percy Bysshe Shelley, Hellas, 1822
The English winter – ending in July,
To recommence in August. Lord Byron, Don Juan
For winter’s rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins. Algernon Charles Swinburne, Atalanta in Calydon 1865
Winters are long and bleak. We lack sunshine and daylight. Cabin fever was a true disease then and it still gets you. Bill Cooper
See, Winter comes to rule the varied year,
Sullen and sad. James Thomson, The Seasons 1746: Winter
Studious let me sit,
And hold mighty converse with the mighty dead. ibid.
Good King Wenceslas looked out,
On the feast of Stephen;
When the snow lay round about,
Deep and crisp and even. John Mason Neale
There is something about winter
which pares things down to their essentials
a bare tree
a black hedge
hold their own stark throne in our hearts. Moya Cannon, Winter Paths
The very dead of winter. T S Eliot, Journey of the Magi, 1927