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The First Snowfall

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Ana Karolina Sousa

on 27 February 2013

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Transcript of The First Snowfall

The First Snowfall By: James Russel Lowell Poetry Analysis cont. Lowell's Life Lowell's Career Career cont. Personal Life Reexamination Attitude Shifts Connotation Theme Interpretation Paraphrase Stanzas Poem feeling of happiness
the first time watching snow fall
the first obstacle in life Stanza 1- creates a peaceful environment.
Stanza 2: everything is covered by snow and nothing can hide from it
Stanza 3: the father describes the characteristics (pure as marble and the ability to soften) of the snow, the morning after it began to snow, which he signifies with the roosters crow.
Stanza 4: He is standing beside his window watching the sky and flying birds.
Stanza 5: He is thinking about someone who passed away, and how the snow is falling on his/her headstone. Accepting and nostalgic There is a shift in between stanza 4 and 5
speaker shifts from describing peaceful snow to describing the headstone and sorrow Attended Harvard (graduated in 1838)
First Publication: "Conversations on Some of the Old Poets", a collection of essays that pleaded for the abolition of slavery.
2 most important writings: "The Vision of Sir Launfal",- the brotherhood of man. "A Fable for Critics",- poem that critiqued contemporary American writers.
Was Smith professor of modern languages at Harvard in 1855 In 1857, he began editing for the Atlanic Monthly
Continued to write essays about unionism during Ulysses S. Grant's presidency.
Appointed minister by President Rutherford B. Hayes in Spain (1877-1880) and ambassador in Great Britain (1880-1885) February 22, 1819-1891
Married Maria White in 1844 (poet)
3 of his children died, followed by his wife in 1853
Married Frances Dunlap in 1857, who takes care of his only remaining child, Mabel.
Dunlap dies in 1885, and Lowell abandons public life. Poetry Analysis Prezi by: Ana Sousa & Ronnie Ankner Paraphrase Stanzas cont. Themes Stanza 6: His child asked where snow came from and he replied that a supreme being sends it from the sky.
Stanza 7: He goes back to thinking about the headstone, doing so reminds him of the pain of his loss.
Stanza 8: He remembers watching the snow fall flake by flake, and its “healing and hiding” his pain from the loss.
Stanza 9: He whispers to his child that only God can make snow fall.
Stanza 10: With his eyes closed, he kisses his child and remembers how he had once kissed her sister, which is the person who passed.
Unknown Words
Carrara- white marble from a city in Italy.
Chanticleer- a rooster Structure and Rhyme Lowell creates a peaceful and tranquil connotation through words and phrases, such as “silence deep and white”, “ridged inch deep with pearl”, “sheds new-roofed with Carrara”, “stiff rails softened to swan’s-down”, “noiseless works”, “healing and hiding”, and “The snow that husheth all.”

The words “silence”, “noiseless”, and “husheth” - associated with peace, rest, and relaxation
The overall explanation of the snow falling gently and slowly in large flakes also adds to this peace.
“pearl” and “Carrara” (white marble from the town Carrara in Italy) give the snow a pure, expensive connotation. Connotation Cont. Lowell, at the same time, also creates a somber connotation through
“mound in sweet Auburn”, “headstone”, “first great sorrow”, “scar that
renewed our woe”, “that_ my_ kiss was given to her sister”

“mound”, “headstone”, and “scar” are given the connotation of death in the poem
“sorrow” and “woe” naturally, because of their denotation, have a connotation of sadness.
“that_ my_ kiss was given to her sister” - has a connotation of somber sorrow.
the kiss that the father gives to the living daughter invokes sympathy from the reader. "The First Snowfall" refers to the first time it snowed after the father loses his daughter.
explains the peaceful healing powers of snow Recovery
nature Rhyme Scheme ABCB, DEFE ...
Rhymes every 2 lines in the stanzas and changes between stanzas Structure iambic tetrameter
sonnet Figurative Language Metaphors
“Every pine and fir and hemlock wore ermine too dear for an earl”
“ridged inch deep with pearl”
“new-roofed with Carrara”
“soften to swan’s down”
“arched o’er our first great sorrow”
“a mound in sweet Auburn”
“the noiseless work of the sky”
“the scar renewed our woe” Similes
“and the sudden flurries of snowbirds, / like brown leaves whirling by”
“how the flakes were folding it gently, / as did robins the babes in the woods”
“I remember the gradual patience / that fell from the cloud like snow” Personification
“flake by flake, healing and hiding”
“‘The snow that husheth all’” the father realizes there is nothing he can do except move on
"...the good All-father / who cares for us below." - the daughter is in the hands of God
"healing and hiding / the scar that renewed our woe" - shows move towards recovery
"the snow that husheth all" - snow hushes sorrow
"where a little headstone stood; / how the flakes were folding it gently" - snow hiding sorrow
he longs for the past when the daughter was alive
"mound", "headstone", "first great sorrow", "scar" "her sister, / folded close under the deepening snow" Works Cited "James Russel Lowell." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. Genre
Romantic - emphasizes life how it should be, not how it really is
Full transcript