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Snow-Flakes Broken Down

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John Kang

on 6 December 2013

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Transcript of Snow-Flakes Broken Down

Snow-Flakes Broken Down
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
First wife Mary died of a complicated miscarriage.
Graduated from Bowdin College in 1825 in a class that included the writer Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Longfellow began teaching French, Spanish, and Italian at Bowdoin in 1829.
 Nathaniel Hawthorne, a Bowdoin Classmate of Longfellow had become his life long friend.
After Fanny's death, Longfellow slowed considerably in writing original poems.

What is the poems story? What events occur? Is there a conflict?
What is the poems story? What events occur? Is there a conflict?
The poem’s story is the “sky” revealing a secret of despair. Longfellow does not put his conflict out there but instead hides it under the context of the poem. It’s clear whoever wrote this poem knows the feeling of despair. The events that occur is it starts snowing and that is the symbol for the air’s despair and revealing of the secret.

Emotions or described mood?
sad, troubled, and depressed. EX
woodlands brown and bare(3)
even the troubled heart doth make(9)
troubled sky reveals, the grief it feels(11)
By Angela Ariondo, and John Kang
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Snow-Flakes By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Out of the bosom of the Air,
      Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
      Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
            Silent, and soft, and slow
            Descends the snow.

Even as our cloudy fancies take
      Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
      In the white countenance confession,
            The troubled sky reveals
            The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,
      Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
      Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
            Now whispered and revealed
            To wood and field.
Poetic Voice
first person
persona-sky maybe? (gives it a voice and mood)
might could trust speaker bc it is a poem of experience
“ this poem, then, offers the advice of experience”
“longfellow is not writing about a personal revelation, but about the romantic psychology of grief”.
“thus, as the speaker sees grief in the sky, he is able to recognize grief as natural event, like a snowstorm, something that may overwhelm and isolate, but will not cover the individual forever.”.
speaker’s attitude towards subject?
the speaker is sad, depressed. isolated, hurt
What tone of voice seems appropriate for reading out loud? Give examples.
when read aloud read slow and stead to process the internal meaning.
silent, soft,and slow(5)
the grief it feels(12)
slowly in silent syllables (14)
grief is natural
“once the individual is able to see greif as something natural, he or she can begin to reconnect with the world.
#of lines? length? arrangement on page? form relate to content?
3 stanzas, 6 lines each .
no special arrangement on page
form relates to poem by going deeper into the situation through every stanza.
open form
only setting we know is it is wintertime.
simple sentences or complicated?
simple sentences with deeper meanings.
inverted syntax?
sometimes uses inverted syntax to open the reader up to the picture while introducing and unravelling the idea. (hourglass)
descends the snow.(6)
now whispered and revealed (17)
the grief it feels.(12)
no significance.
last 2 lines of every stanza.
snowflakes are the representation of the grief the sky is revealing.
the sky reveals/ the grief it feels. (11-12)
DICTION ------ middle diction
JARGON- no jargon or specific slang.
DENOTATIONS - no crazy words
(SKY) is a reflection of himself and heart.
(AIR) is a representation of the troubled heart
lines 9 & 11 repeats troubled. (Troubled heart/ troubled sky/ this is the poem of air<- maybe means this is the poem of the heart? Also, out of the bosom of air<- does it literally mean out of the bosom where the heart lies behind?)
Language Cont.
brown and bare (3) dead and stripped (maybe of his pride)
silent, soft, and slow (5) not a crazy heart break but more of a softer devastation. Soft snowfall.
slowly in silent syllables (14) gives it a soft feel, and isolation

Language Cont.
Whole poem is an extended metaphor
Synecdoche (part of a whole. Big mouth)
the snow is a bigger part of his heartbreak.
the snowstorm is his heartbreak
her garments shaken (air to a woman)
trouble heart doth make/ white countenance confession/ the troubled sky reveals/ the grief it feels
this is the secret of despair/ long in its cloudy bosom hoarded/ now whispered and revealed
Language Cont.
What kind of symbols would be in it? Conventional? Contextual ? Allegory?
Irony- none
ababcc, dedeff, agaghh
End rhyme.
Set rhyme
Sound elements
silent, soft, and slow (5)
suddenly shape in some (8)
slowly in silent syllables (14)
countenance confession (10)
lines 1&2 out
lines 3&4 over
lines 7&9 Even
lines 11&12 The
lines 13 & 15 This
now whispered and revealed (17)
descends the snow (6)
brown and bare (3)

possibly. this could be his experience to use natural as a treatment of grief. Nature’s version of grief=snow.
“ this poem, then, offers the advice of experience”
change of mood
makes the reader kind of depressed, you can feel the heartbreak. the poem is saddening. Technical elements add the soft touch through he alliteration and euphony.
Higgins, Andrew C. "Longfellow's Snow-Flakes." The Explicator 63.4 (2005): 216+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.

Longfellow, Henry W. "Snow-Flakes." The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2013. 1360. Print.

Maine Historical Society. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Maine Historical Society, ND. web. 15 Nov 2013. <http://www.hwlongfellow.org>.
Works Cited
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