Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Winter Friends

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

The recipient of a Pulitzer prize for poetry in 1935, Robert P. Tristram Coffin taught at Bowdoin College and was a well-known historian as well as a poet. Walking by himself on a winter night in this poem, Coffin makes an unexpected connection with a stranger.

Winter Friends by Robert P. Tristram Coffin

The high cold moon rides through the frost, The branches of the trees make lace Along the drifted snow beneath, There is no friendliness in the place, Except in twelve small squares of light Set in a house?s midnight side. Someone is awake with me On the cold earth?s wintry ride, Through the pathways of the space, He and I go on like friends, Saying nothing, quietly, To our separate unknown ends.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 1948 by Robert P. Tristram Coffin. Reprinted from Collected Poems of Robert P. Tristram Coffin, The Macmillian Company, American Book - Stratford Press, 1948, by permission of the estate of Robert P. Tristram Coffin. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, Special Assistant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at 207-228-8263 or poetlaureate@mainewriters.org.