“Winter Field” by Ellen Bryant Voigt

“The winter field is not

the field of summer lost in snow; it is

another thing, a different thing.

“We shouted, we shook you,” you tell me,

but there was no sound, no face, no fear, only

oblivion–why shouldn’t it be so?

After they’d pierced a vien and fished me up,

after they’d reeled me back they packed me under

blanket on top of blanket, I trembled so.

The summer field, sun-fed, mutable,

has its many tasks; the winter field

becomes its adjective.

For those hours

I was some other thing, and my body,

which you have long loved well,

did not love you.”

I really like this poem and what she does with the concept of a “winter field.” What is more like oblivion than a winter field? What is more cold and useless in its expanse than the winter field? I think this image is what I was trying to achieve in one of my poems. I also really like how the image of the winter field is interwoven with that of the speaker’s body, who “did not love you” while it was like a winter field. A summer field is loved, is played on, is used; a winter field is just an empty space.

2 Responses to ““Winter Field” by Ellen Bryant Voigt”

  1. lizgerber says:

    I thought of your poem, too!

    I like how Voigt reduces the winter field to “its adjective.” It reminds me of when someone describes a person as “nice” – that really doesn’t do anything for me, either. It sounds like the speaker here is also feeling empty and still.

  2. Reverend says:

    This is a test.