What is the meaning of each stanza in the poem "White-Eyes" by Mary Oliver?

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kathik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"White Eyes" by Mary Oliver is a poem about winter beginning and ending. The white-eyed bird in the first stanza is symbolic of that winter season. The wind begins blowing at the tops of the trees. Winter wants to sleep, but the winds continue to blow, and the cold comes in gusts. The white-eyed bird dropping its feathers represents the snow flakes falling. The clouds come in from the north, and the snow begins to fall--the great wind bird spreading its wings and flying as it releases its snowy feathers (snowflakes) all across the landscape. Finally, the bird sleeps, signifying the end of the winter. Mary Oliver uses symbolism effectively in her poem to describe winter, using a bird to summon the northern clouds and bring the snow.