Please provide a critical analysis of Thomas Hardy's poem "Snow in the Suburbs."

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This short poem by Hardy describes the scene when the suburbs of a city are covered in snow and the way in which the landscape is totally changed as a result. What is interesting to note is the way in which the beginning of the poem starts by using a number of very key and vivid images to communicate the scene:

Every branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every street and pavement mute:

The alliteration of the "b" sound and the way in which the fork of branches are described as being "like a white web-foot" and the streets are now "mute" help to convey the change that has taken place. The snow is personified in the next line, as the snowflakes have "lost their way," and "waft of wind" uses both alliteration and onomatopoiea to help enact the sound of the wind as it comes.

The danger presented by this scene is reflected in the snow that nearly "inurns" a poor sparrow as he gets covered in snow, and with the picture of a "wide-eyed and thin" cat that is taken in at the very end of the poem.

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