I enjoy researching poetry and sharing my findings with readers.
Winter, although a favorite season for some, can be a difficult time for many people as it is harder to go outside due to the weather, there are often many crowds in public places, and then there is the stress of the holiday season. Many people get the blues around the holidays. The weather is usually harsh, and January through March is interpreted as blase, gray, and dull by some.
Viruses and diseases thrive during this time, and many people get sick. Poets have written about trying to survive and what brings them peace of mind during the cold season for hundreds if not thousands of years. This blog only compares three poems written about Winter. However, there are many more.
Interpretation of "The Sky is Low, The Clouds are Mean"
Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10, 1830. The central theme of death was in most of her poems. The poem "The Sky is Low, The Clouds are Mean" appears to portray a sense of self-pity or a bad mood.
The snowflake in the poem is described as going "across a barn" or "through a Rut." It has been interpreted that the snowflake represents Emily Dickinson herself. So, it is basically saying she is trying to make a choice or stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The second stanza does not frame even having a choice. The wind just blows the snowflake around while complaining the whole time. The Diadem can be interpreted as symbolic of reason. The poem expresses a lack of being able to go anywhere or do anything that brings joy. It really gives a feeling of desperation.
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"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost
The poem was one of Robert Frost's earlier works. It describes the woods as a quiet place offering solitude and peace, that happens to exist right next to a world of people, social obligations, and stress. He talks about the "promises" he has to keep or his obligations to society.
The poem also describes it as being the darkest evening of the year, or the Winter Solstice. The poem is interpreted differently by different people. Some people think that the woods are just symbolizing relaxing and doing something that causes tension to ease even though there are all these worldly pressures. Others think that the woods actually symbolize death or suicide and an easeful sleep.
Robert Frost always said it was not about death. It is about persevering in spite of the pressures of life because at the end, it repeats the line, "I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep."
"Silence" by Megan Fricke
There was a gentle whisper through the trees,
It carried the voice of God where he found me.
The snow covered the Earth like a white blanket.
It fell softly from the sky where the clouds were kept.
The gentle whisper came like that of a child.
The cold lead me to a warmth inside that was so mild.
I breathed deep and let out a sigh.
The weather was cold like life and I knew why.
I turned to what lay inside me,
Only the spirit of truth would set me free.
The Earth was resting at this time and place.
Sometimes in Winter I needed my space.
The quiet was heard all around.
The only noise was my breathing, a very small sound.
Life existed in this cold harsh weather,
The snow fell from the sky like a small feather.
I drove home from work with lights and noise.
The Holiday season must have some poise.
There were traffic jams, ice, and crowds of all kinds.
The silence was only what brought me peace of mind." —Megan Fricke
The Three Poems
The poem by modern poet Megan Fricke is like the one by Emily Dickinson in the sense that it does describe a feeling of desperation and sadness in winter. However, it has religious undertones that neither of the other two poems previously mentioned have.
Like the poem by Robert Frost, the author is describing finding solace, solitude, and peace of mind in nature. It does not describe death or what can be interpreted as death. However, it describes the world of nature and solace living side by side with a world of traffic jams, social obligations, and demands of the world, the same as the poem written by Robert Frost. They can each be interpreted differently.
Although the three authors lived in different time zones, there are similarities between the content in which they are all writing about. In other words, there is a resemblance in the content of the poems. They are all three observing similar things and emotions from different angles.