and now, in the spirit of noding your homework
, i give to thee, the noder population, my grade twelve poetry selection, followed by an overdone analysis that set out to tackle any possible meaning that might have been derived from the words herein
. (Note: my teacher was inherently evil
and it seemed that no matter what i did, i missed some little piece of symbolism
that was supposedly *hidden*. and, so, i took it upon myself to thoroughly over-analyze this pretty but fairly simple
little piece of writing. i'd hope i've matured a little since the analysis was written, and it should be noted that it is in a sort of point form
because i had to explain it orally, the words below the poem were just a guide. also, excuse the length.. i really, really overdid it. :) just for kicks, i'd like to point out that my most likely response to what this poem might mean, is now, "whatever, you know?
Let us walk in the white snow
In a soundless space;
With footsteps quiet and slow,
At a tranquil pace,
Under veils of white lace.
I shall go shod in silk
And you in wool,
White as white cow’s milk,
Than the breast of a gull.
We shall walk through the still town
In a windless peace;
We shall step upon white down,
Upon silver fleece,
Upon softer than these.
We shall walk in velvet shoes;
Wherever we go
Silence will fall like dews
On white silence below.
We shall walk in the snow.
- Elinor Wylie 1885 - 1928
The poem is about a perfect world. The white
and the snow are being used as a metaphor
for the innocence and purity of this world. Snow is a metaphor for the world, and white
is symbolizing the perfection
and innocence of the world. The snow being used to symbolize the world
is also the use of metonymy
, because snow is part of the universe.
Let us walk in the white snow : let us walk in this pure, innocent world of ours
In a soundless space; : the poet is saying that the world is free of imperfections
such as pollution, both noise and waste
With footsteps quiet and slow, : this is saying that they will walk through the world very carefully.. as to not destroy even a small part of the perfection.
At a tranquil pace, : again a reference to not disturbing the land
, they are going very slowly so that they do not cause any damage.
Under veils of white lace. : the lace is being used as a metaphor for the protection
the world is providing, again the reference to the purity with the word ‘white’, they are
saying that the lace, or shelter as the poet is describing, keeps all of the bad things
that could possibly effect their lives away, as long as they are careful and do not offset the balance.
I shall go shod in silk, And you in wool,: these two lines are important because the poet has used two natural
(wool, silk - and nature is generally considered to be pure) silk is very soft.. which is indicating that there are no harsh things in this perfect world, this eutopia
White as white cow’s milk,: stressing the purity
of the world with the repetition of white. The world so far has been made out to act almost as a mother to the people in the poem, and milk
can sometimes imply nurturing
More beautiful, Than the breat of a gull.: these two lines are used to say that the world is so beautiful, so perfect, that it is above even the white soft breast of a gull. This is once again, a use of metonymy. Animals
are part of nature, part of the world and the poet is using the gull as
a comparison for the beauty of the world. (also as a simile
, comparing worlds beauty to gulls breast)
We shall walk through the still town, In a windless peace;: The word town is a metaphor for life
. The windless peace is the poets way of saying that they will walk through this life, on their perfect world, free of disturbances and impurities
We shall step upon white down,: poet uses metonymy here, “down” (soft goose
feathers) is used to symbolize the world (the environment - nature, the perfection of the ground they are walking on). The reference to the purity
of white once more. (down is normally white, so saying white down just emphasizes
the line all the more).
Upon silver fleece
, : more reference to nature (fleece is from sheep).
Upon softer than these. : back to the perfection of the world. It is so perfect that even the earth they walk upon is soft and delicate, as is fleece, down etc.. Also references to protection again, everything is so perfect
no harm can come to them.
We shall walk in velvet shoes; : the poet uses walk to show that the people are in no hurry, and to show noce more that they are taking great care not to damage the world. Another reference to a very soft and also luxurious
material with the use of velvet. The poet uses the word shoes because they are used as protection for our feet
. Genearlly when
people walk with shoes they destroy parts of the earth, however small, in this case the poet is saying that they are walking with such care, with these velvet shoes
, and not disturbing any part of their eutopia
Wherever we go, Silence will fall like dew
s: saying that wherever they go, the entire land is the same, perfect. The dew is another reference to nature
, it’s being used as a metaphor for perfection and purity. The silence is again the world free of imperfections. (a simile is
used by the poet also: silence will fall like dews)
On white silence below.: just another reference to the purity of the world (white).. and saying that the perfection (which is symbolized with dew in the line above) will act as protection sheltering the people
We shall walk in the snow.: yet another reference to the slow, unhurried pace
and lifestyle of the people in this world and how they are taking special care not to damage
their eutopia. This last line is basically just saying, We shall walk through our perfect world.
The basic message the poet is trying to get across is that if the people take care of their world it will protect, shelter and nurture them. That’s only if they do not go around destroying it. The poem has a very quiet mood and creates a soft, gentle image
in the readers mind.