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.


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