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The Snow-Storm by Ralph Waldo Emerson


"The Snow-Storm" is a poem written by Ralph Waldo Emerson. The poem speaks about the entire event of a snow-storm. It begins by saying the storm was "Announced by all the trumpets of the sky", meaning lightening, and then suddenly it "Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven," and "the farm-house". He goes on to say that due to the storm "all friends shut out, the housemates sit / Around the radiant fireplace", because they can't go out and it's cold. Emerson goes on by saying how quickly the snow changes everything and what it makes it look like. He calls it "astonished Art" and "frolic architecture". Of course, not everyone is happy. "Maugre the farmer's sighs".

"The Snow-Storm" is a one stanza poem with 28 lines. There is not a rhyme scheme. It is written in iambic-pentameter.


The Snow-Storm

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The steed and traveller stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.
Come, see the north wind's masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, naught cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall,
Maugre the farmer's sighs, and at the gate
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone
Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow

Next: A Letter
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Literary Movement
Transcendentalism, 19th Century

Nature, Snow, Sky

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