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TP-CASTT POETRY ANALYSIS: From Snowbound by John Greenleaf W

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Rehnuma Islam

on 18 November 2015

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Transcript of TP-CASTT POETRY ANALYSIS: From Snowbound by John Greenleaf W

TP-CASTT POETRY ANALYSIS: From Snowbound by John Greenleaf Whittier
When reading the title of the poem, our group inferred that this poem might be about people who are going to be troubled by snow. Maybe people will not be able to travel to places and instead become confined to their homes. Therefore, people in this poem might be taking preparations for the snow that would come.
Title

This poem is pretty straightforward and direct. "Snowbound" is very story-like. However, we do see that this poem shows its readers that nature controls people’s lives. Nature has a lot of power over people. It can stop people from completing tasks and prevent others from travelling to different places. “Snowbound” utilizes many personifications. One example of personification can be seen in the second stanza: “We heard the roar of ocean on his wintry shore, and felt the strong pulse throbbing there…” The ocean cannot actually roar, but this personification is used to describe how strong the wind was and the effect of the strong wind on the ocean. More personifications can be seen in stanza 7: The shrieking of the mindless wind, the moaning tree boughs swaying blind, and on the glass the unmeaning beat of ghostly fingertips of sleet. The wind cannot actually shriek, trees don’t moan, and sleet cannot tap on windows. All of these personifications are again trying to convey how powerful the storm was.
Connotation
The shift in the speaker’s attitude is significant in the sixth stanza. The tone of the speaker before stanza six was dull, dreary, gloomy, sad, and somber. This was all due to the continuous snow and how it affected their day by not having any sunshine or warmth. They were confined to their homes as the snow would not allow them to go outside. The attitude in stanza 6 turns to joyful, excited, happy, and playful. From that stanza on, the tone was kept constant. The speaker is now focusing on the good parts of the snow and how they’re overcoming it.
Shift
The title Snowbound is a good title for this poem. Snowbound means "prevented from traveling or going out by snow or snowy weather."This poem discusses how a family prepares for a snow storm. When the snow storm occurred, they were prevented from going outside and completing any work. They were unable to travel to places as well. The title gives a direct insight into what the poem might be about. Thus,our inferences in the beginning of the poem about what the poem might be about were correct.
Title
The theme of nature is most prominent in this poem. This poem discusses how powerful nature is in that it has the ability to control our lives. For example, we can see that the snow storm forced the family to stay indoors. In addition, this poem shows how nature can warn others on upcoming events. In this case, nature implies to the family that a snow storm was near. The sun shine wasn’t shining as bright, the air was turning very cold, and the wind causes the ocean to throb.
Theme
Snowbound is a winter idyll written by John Greenleaf Whittier. This poem discusses how a family takes preparation for a snow storm and how they cope with the snow storm.
John Greenleaf Whittier
TP-CASTT: Snowbound
By Mary Aung, Alaa Abdelrahman ,
Lydia Henderson, and Rehnuma Islam

Stanza 1:
Paraphrase:
It was a short December day
and the sun rose cheerless over the hills.
The sunshine wasn’t bright;
It was darker than a waning moon.
It left a dark and threatening prophecy.
Stanza 2:
The warning of the threat went away before the sun had set.
The weather was getting really cold, but home-made things like sweaters could block the cold.
The bitterness of the cold implied the coming of a snowstorm.
The wind was so strong that you could hear the roar of the ocean. The ocean’s strong, throbbing pulse could be felt at shore and the low rhythm in the inland air.
Stanza 3:
Meanwhile we did our nightly chores which consisted of bringing wood from outdoors, littering the stalls, and raking down the herd’s grass for the cows. The horse was whinnying for corn, the cattle were shaking their bows, and the cock sent down his crowing.
Stanza 4:
The sunset light didn’t give off any warmth. The gray day changed into the dark night. The night was filled with the blinding storm.
Stanza 5:
The storm continued all night long and in the morning there wasn’t any sunshine. It continues to snow all day. On the second day, the world looked unfamiliar. The snow covered the earth. The familiar places took on strange shapes of domes and towers. Where there was once a road stood a smooth white mound of snow. The bridle post (an old man) wears a coat and hat, the well has a Chinese roof, and the sweep slanted due to the snow which reminded us of the leaning tower of Pisa.
Stanza 6:
Stanza 7:
Our father orders us to clear the path. We joyfully put on our shoes and boots, mittens, and caps. We cut through the snow. Wherever the snow was the deepest, we created a tunnel that was overlaid with dazzling crystals. It looked like Aladdin’s wondrous cave, so this is what we named it. When we reached the barn, we imagined that the animals were like prisoners who were waiting to be released.
The wind is now coming from the north. It blows and drifts all day. There were no church bells. There wasn’t any smoke coming from the woods. This all made the solitude more intense. The sound of the wind was like that of a shrieking of an insane person. The drifts from the sleet against the windows sounded like the beating, tapping fingers of a ghost. The world seemed like it was under a spell, except for the little space around our hearth. Even the sharpest ear couldn’t hear the brook anymore. The sounds of the brook’s water were like music. It was our friend and it gave an almost human tone.
Stanza 8:
As night drew on, the sun continued to sink from sight beneath the smothering banks. We piled up the woods against the chimney back. Ragged brushes were placed in the fire to kindle it. We saw the first red blaze appear, and the room turned warm and rosy. Our warm hearth was blazing free. As we watched, we whispered an old rhyme about the witches.
Stanza 9:
The full moon shines in the eastern wood. The transfigured hills looked dead white, except for the occasional shadowy ravine or the green hemlocks that turned pitchy black. The world and the night were unfit for the unwarming moon light, which made the cold visible.
Stanza 10:
The red logs were beat with heat. As the wind was roaring and hitting the doors and windows, the throat of the chimney laughed. The dog was resting near the fire and the cat’s dark silhouette was on the wall. The cider was simmering, the apples were roasting, and near us was a basket of nuts from October’s woods.
Snowbound
• John Greenleaf Whittier was born into a poor Quaker family
• He was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts
• John began poetry at age 14
• As a boy, it was discovered that Whittier was color-blind when he was unable to see a difference between ripe and unripe strawberries.
• He grew up on the farm in a household with his parents, a brother and two sisters, a maternal aunt and paternal uncle
Attitude (tone)
The speaker’s attitude or tone in the beginning of the poem was sad, dreary, glum, gloomy, and somber. This was due to the coming of the snowstorm. The skies were darkened and the sun didn’t shine as much. The tone shifts during the sixth stanza. The storm ended and the speaker was allowed to go outside. The tone was excited, happy, joyful, and playful.
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