Last Updated 20 Jun 2022

Winter Poetry – Skating at Night William Wordsworth

Category Night, Poetry, Romanticism
Words 772 (3 pages)
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Wordsworth shows a positive fond memory of winter that is personal to him. He gives a feeling of excitement by using 'and'. Also he shows how noisy it is by using 'bellowing' and 'not a voice was idle'. Even though it was cold Wordsworth would rather be outside with his friends then inside: 'I heeded not the summons. Wordsworth also wants excitement and freedom: 'Proud and exulting'. He likes to play games with his friends, like a native foxhunt: 'Games confederate of the chase'

He uses similes and metaphors to show he is exhilarated and has loads of energy: 'Untired horse' and 'the resounding horn'. Wordsworth has used onomatopoeia and alliteration to show the effect of speed: 'We hissed along' and 'The pack loud bellowing' speed is also shown by using the word 'flew', the simile 'Tinkled like iron' shows the brittle side of winter.

Wordsworth uses the word 'melancholy' to show that the beautiful scene, he once knew, is fading with old age a shows a slight sadness to the poem.

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Winter Percy Bysshe Shelley

Shelley uses alliteration to show that winter is harsh 'the wind was his whip' this also shows that it is a negative and destructive time. He writes: 'One choppy finger' to make you wonder what winter will do next. Shelley portrays winter as an evil character using personification such as: 'whip' 'lip' to make it more effective. Shelley also makes winter sound brittle: 'His breath was a chain'. Shelley shows how cold and powerful winter can be by writing:

'He came, fiercely in his chariot-throne by the tenfold of the arctic zone' Shelley also shows that even the more evil things like weeds have to hide from winter: 'Weeds which are forms of the living death fled from the frost' Using alliteration: 'flight from frost' gives winter an eerie feel which makes things vanish like ghosts without a trace.

When icicles hang by the wall William Shakespeare

Shakespeare uses everyday characters to show the realism of his poem to create a typical winter scene: 'Dick the Shepherd'. He shows that even though the weather is awful life goes on: 'ways be foul, then nightly sings the staring owl'.

Using rhyme gives the feel of movement but is broken when the owl makes its sound: 'Blow' 'Snow' 'Saw' Raw'. Everyone gets effected by the cold: 'Coughing drowns the parsons saw' 'Marian's nose is red and raw'. Using words like 'nipp'd' and 'ways be foul' shows that is a cold mucky time.

Shakespeare tells it how winter was there and then. There is no sympathy for winter.

Emmonsail's Heath in Winter John Clare

Clare gives no critical comment during his poem, he just observes what's around him: 'Crimpled leaves' 'an oddling crow' 'the old heron'. His poem is also very detailed which adds to the effectiveness of the poem. Clare puts a lack of stress on the words: 'While the old heron'. He uses personification to bring the lake to life and make it a bigger part of his observation: 'Lonely Lake'.

Clare uses alliteration to create the sense of movement: 'Starts slow' but at the same time give a sense of calmness: 'Melancholy wing' 'An oddling crow in idle motion'. The scene is in harmony even the gypsy fits in: 'the gypsy makes his bed'. Clare give affection to the 'bouncing woodcock' Clare uses the word 'Rove' to show how much he has observed from wandering about.

Clare's poem is based on observation and is portrayed like a fairytale scene where everything is in harmony and fits in with the world around it.


In the Poem 'Skating on Ice' the poem is based on a very personal scene, which is special to Wordsworth. He makes the poem exciting, exhilarating and gives a sense of movement. This poem is effective for these reasons and makes you really believe that you are their taking part in the chase.

In Clare's poem 'Winter' it reflects winter as being horrible and destructive. This is my favourite, as I believe this is how a typical cold winter day acts. Winter has been given the human characteristics to great effect showing everything winter is known to do.

Shakespeare creates a sense of realism in his poem 'When icicles hang by the wall' by give the poem everyday characters. He gives no sympathy, which makes it sound more real and effective. This poem is probably the most real out of all four and it portrays winter as a typical thing that happens.

Clare's poem 'Emmonsail's Heath in winter' is based on observation. He makes everything sound beautiful and in harmony with everything else. He makes everything very calm leisurely. This poem portrays winter as a beautiful time almost like a well-painted painting.

Winter Poetry – Skating at Night William Wordsworth essay

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