Snow Water

A fastidious brewer of tea, a tea
Connoisseur as well as a poet,
I modestly request on my sixtieth
Birthday a gift of snow water.

Tea steam and ink stains. Single-
Mindedly I scald my tea pot and
Measure out some Silver Needles Tea,
Enough for a second steeping.

Other favourites include Clear
Distance and Eyebrows of Longevity
Or, from precarious mountain peaks,
Cloud Mist Tea (quite delectable)

Which competent monkeys harvest
Filling their baskets with choice leaves
And bringing them down to where I wait
with my crock of snow water.


from Snow Water (Jonathan Cape, 2004), copyright © Michael Longley 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Where next?

Sponsor this poem

Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.

Recordings

Michael Longley Downloads

1Overhead

£0.89

2Petalwort

£0.89

3Ceilidh

£0.89

4Robin

£0.89

5Wheatear

£0.89

6Owlcases

£0.89

7Level Pegging

£0.89

8Edward Thomas’s Poem

£0.89

9Pipistrelle

£0.89

10Harmonica

£0.89

11War & Peace

£0.89

12Sleep & Death

£0.89

13The Miner

£0.89

14In Notre-Dame

£0.89

15Helens Monkey

£0.89

16Heron

£0.89

17Leveret

£0.89

18The Wren

£0.89

19The Fold

£0.89

20A Swans Egg

£0.89

21A Hundred Doors

£0.89

22Bee Orchid

£0.89

23Cloudberries

£0.89

24The Lifeboat

£0.89

25Gardening in Cardoso

£0.89

26Citation

£0.89

27Cloud Orchid

£0.89

28A Mobile For Maisie

£0.89

29The Stairwell

£0.89

30Deathbed

£0.89

31Amelia’s Poem

£0.89

33Marigolds, 1960

£0.89

34Boy-Soldier

£0.89

35At High Wood

£0.89

36Lunch

£0.89

37The Trees

£0.89

32Birth-Bed

£0.89

38The Feet

£0.89

39The Apparition

£0.89

40The Boxers

£0.89

41The Birthday

£0.89

42The Snowdrops

£0.89

43Starlings

£0.89

44Fifty Years

£0.89

Books by Michael Longley