Analysis of ‘Dust of Snow’ Essay

August 17, 2021 by Essay Writer

Robert Frost is a renowned poet who tries to change people’s mindsets through his numerous works of poetry. His poem ‘Dust of snow ‘ is brief but conveys the poet’s message coherently. The poem shows how human judgment on specific issues can be misleading. There are certain animals, things or objects that people associate with negativity and doom. People overlook these people, animals or plants when in search of help. They only proceed to tested reliable sources. The poet tries to alter this mindset through the poem (Braun 1).

The poet depicts the crow and the hemlock tree as reasons for his changed mood and increased optimism. In our world, a crow is a bird widely detested. For some societies, a group of crows is associated with looming murder. A crow benefits from other living things misfortunes.

Being a scavenger, it waits for other stronger creatures such as the vultures to rip open the carcasses only for it to consume the soft tissues. Moreover, its color is relatively black with a few patches of white for some species. The black completion implies doom while the white spots could mean the possibility of something good to be associated with the cruel bird.

The hemlock tree, on the other hand, is a poisonous tree. Its consumption could lead to health complications for anyone. Due to this, the tree is avoided and considered useless. However, in the poem, the very bird we hate shakes up the poisonous tree causing snow to fall on the poet. The result is a changed individual who looks at life with a new mindset. The crow is the last bird we would expect to initiate any positive deed. In this case, it is the precise source of positive transformation (Gregory 1).

There exist different species of crows with various physical attributes in the world. However, they all portray the same negative characteristics. This is symbolic of the people, locations, things, and animals that are deeply ostracized. Just as the different crows, they are all typical representatives of doom in our lives.

The poet is possibly advocating for the need to perceive them with a positive state of mind. We could as well be misjudging them and in the process miss out on the positive influences they could have in our lives. Besides, snowdrops on the poet since he is positioned under the hemlock tree. His position symbolizes people’s need to take risks in trusting those they mistrust. Evidence of past dangerous tendencies does not necessarily justify future danger.

Though written in straightforward language with no similes or adjectives, the poem conveys its message through imagery. In the process, of reading the poem, images of someone in a melancholic mood walking in a snowy landscape are created in our mind. The poem achieves this by use of familiarity and contrast.

Every reader can associate with a snowy landscape and a crow on a tree. Each reader can, therefore, perceive a black crow perched on a tree in a contrasting white snowy surrounding. The contrast could be representative of the poet’s varied moods (Gregory 1).

Robert Frost’s poetry is characterized by a traditional form of verse, themes of the natural landscape, human experiences, human limitations, and travel. ‘Dust of Snow’ follows the same line of thought. The language in which it is written is simple and easy to comprehend. Some scholars refer to it as a beautiful, refined language.

It avoids the use of poetic styles such as metaphors, rhyme, and refrains and only utilizes indirect imagery to convey its message. This is characteristic of traditional verse that enables it to reach a broader audience. The setting of the poem is in a snowy landscape with a tree and a bird perched on it. These emulate other poetic works by the poet that have a natural setting.

The use a crow and a hemlock tree, true characters in nature, depict the occurrences over which we have minimal control. The poet possibly prefers using nature since it is something that affects each and everyone’s life. Consequently, a larger audience is touched (Gregory 1).

The poem is also based on human experiences. It denotes a traveler who passes below a hemlock tree. The melancholic mood before could be associated with adverse experiences the traveler has had in his past life. The new encounter with the crow on the tree alters his mood positively. Human experiences are things that every reader can associate with.

At one time or the other, human beings go through sad moments and happy moments. The poet exploits this knowledge to provide situations that we can identify with and thus effectively act on the message passed. Moreover, most of his works majorly involve traveling.

This poem is not different in this aspect. The speaker must have been traveling in the snowy landscape when the experience described occurred. Having had all the above attributes, ‘Dust of snow’ conveys the message of misjudgment successfully. In due course, it remains representative of Robert Frost’s works.

Works Cited

Braun, Lynda. In Depth Interpretation of Robert Frost’s Classic Poem, Dust of Snow. Yahoo! Contributor, 10 Mar. 2009. Web.

Gregory, Elizabeth. Imagery in Frost’s Dust Snow. Poetry suite101, 14 Oct. 2007. Web.

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