Clattery MacHinery on Poetry

January 1, 2007

from Poem a Day: "New Year Snow" by Frances Horovitz

Filed under: dead poets, English poets, Frances Horovitz, lyric poetry, poems, poetry, poets — Clattery MacHinery @ 7:35 pm

For Christmas, I received two super poetry books, not yet in my library. My sister gave me one with the poem below, “New Year Snow” by Frances Horovitz. It is the poem for January 1st in: Poem A Day, Volume 3: 366 poems, old and new–one for each day of the year.

The book is edited by Retta Bowen, Nick Temple, Nicholas Albery, and Stephanie Wienrich, and published by Zoland Books. I am looking forward to reading the book as designed–throughout the year.

Also below, is the commentary on the page about the poet, an excellent feature of the book.


by Frances Horovitz (1938-1983)
New Year Snow
For three days we waited,
a bowl of dull quartz for sky.
At night the valley dreamed of snow,
lost Christmas angels with dark-white wings
flailing the hills.
I dreamed a poem, perfect
as the first five-pointed flake,
that melted at dawn:
a Janus-time
to peer back at guttering dark days,
trajectories of the spent year.
And then snow fell.
Within an hour, a world immaculate
as January’s new-hung page.
We breathe the radiant air like men new-born.
The children rush before us.
As in a dream of snow
we track through crystal fields
to the green horizon
and the sun’s reflected rose.



Frances Horovitz read English and Drama at Bristol University and trained as an actress at RADA. After graduating, she concentrated mainly on reading poetry and only began to write herself following her marriage to the poet Michael Horovitz in 1964. Her first pamphlet was published in 1967, followed by The High Tower in 1970. Her son Adam, now also a poet, was born in 1971 and the Horovitzs moved to a remote offshoot of the Slad Valley in Gloucestershire, which became a source of inspiration for many of the poems in her third book. It is from this book that “New Year Snow” is taken. She married Roger Garfitt shortly before her death in October 1983.



  1. Bud, that’s a lovely poem to begin the new year. I’ve been trying to read one poem per morning (before 9 am) this year, but find that I have the attention span of a flea at 8 am. I like poems shorter than 20 lines and this one is a perfect example of what appeals to me at dawn. Is the rest of the book similar? Happy new year to you and yours, by the way.

    Comment by Christine Klocek-Lim — January 4, 2007 @ 11:36 pm

  2. Hi Christine,

    Thanks very much for stopping by. A sincere happy new year wish to you too.

    So far, each morning, I have read a poem from the book. Though I don’t expect to be ultimately that perfect with it, I figure to finish at year’s end. I had a poem calendar a couple years ago, kept it at work, and that’s how it went.

    The poems are the size you say.


    Comment by Bud Bloom — January 5, 2007 @ 1:05 am

  3. It’s good to see my mother’s poetry still getting out there – I’m very glad you posted this. Adam

    Comment by Adam Horovitz — April 16, 2007 @ 10:16 pm

  4. Hi Adam,

    Thanks very much for stopping by. It’s good to see you here.


    Comment by Clattery MacHinery — April 17, 2007 @ 12:28 am

  5. Hi Adam – I’ve been surfing on the net to find out more about your mother’s poetry. You may be interested to know her “Collected Poems” is a set text option as part of a module for an MA degree in Spirituality. I am collecting info about the background to some of your mother’s poems for an essay about how she used myth and landscape to evoke a sense of the journey of a soul. (Any commets?) So, your mother’s writings are still appreciated by a lot of us new fans. PH.

    Comment by Paul H — May 25, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

  6. Hi Paul, Yes, I did know that – my cousin’s wife told me – she’s studying my mother’s poetry in Salisbury. If you have any direct questions, find me on MySpace and I’ll try and answer them. Best wishes, Adam

    Comment by Adam Horovitz — June 3, 2007 @ 10:43 am

  7. 4 June 2007

    After the storm, my mind cleared.

    And a high wind arose and blew the tropics north.


    running quartz crystals through a blender.

    sand through your engines.

    bubbles in your bays.

    estuaries reaching out toward forbidden seas…

    sand through your eyes.


    5 June 2007

    Calm as baby’s breath

    as peaceful as the storm’s eye

    Clouds spread and drawn with rough strokes of stratospheric winds

    a warm and windy tropical day.


    7 June 2007

    Black water at dusk.

    Lighting on the horizon.

    Warm winds coming in across the darkening waters.

    A flash of white wings as an egret takes flight.

    And Thunder like God clearing his throat.


    8 June 2007

    Morning star in the still of the clear, dark waters.

    a sky as clear eyed as a young girl.

    bruised and tattered storm remnants limp off in the gathering light.

    Comment by Poetry — June 9, 2007 @ 5:07 pm

  8. I need some help in finding a book that I had as a child. It has a poem for everyday of the year black and red and blue drawings for the pictures. My book is in bad condition no cover, can you help me find a good used one?

    Comment by Reta C Allgood — September 22, 2008 @ 9:26 pm

  9. Hi Reta,

    Do you have more information on the book. It’s title, the illustrator, or editor?


    Comment by Clattery MacHinery — September 24, 2008 @ 12:47 pm

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