Ice Follies

Matthews, William

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Aull, Felice
  • Date of entry: Mar-28-2001


A wonderfully descriptive three-stanza poem about the icy perils of a winter walk, especially for "the claudicators, the lace- / boned, the seven-months-pregnant, and the lame." The poet juxtaposes the ludicrous (teetering, wobbling, toppling), with the serious, the "spry" with the infirm. One comfort in this situation is that it threatens everyone who ventures outdoors and there is a camaraderie and mutual empathy among those who are struggling to remain upright. [18 lines]


Matthews sees the humor in "fallen bodies" but he also reminds us of the body's vulnerability and of the difficulties that lie everywhere in wait for those with infirmities.

Primary Source

After All: Last Poems


Houghton Mifflin

Place Published