dust of snow
The poet is upset and sitting under the hemlock tree. Suddenly a crow sitting on the tree shakes the tree and the fine particles of snow from tree falls on the poet. The soft and cold touch of snow changes the poet’s mood from sad to happy. He starts feeling soothed and refresh. In this way a simple moment proves to be very significant and saves rest of the day of poet from being wasted and held in regret.
The black crow is commonly a symbol of death and fear.
Since the crow is not associated with goodness, it is ironic that in this poem, it is doing a good deed by shaking off the snow.
Robert Frost didn’t choose to use an oak, maple or pine tree. No, instead he chose the hemlock tree which is usually associated with poison and toxicity. Anyway, the beautiful snow that adorns the poisonous hemlock tree’s branches is shaken off by a scary crow.
Robert Frost uses the elements of the fearsome crow and poisonous Hemlock tree to do something good – shake the white, pure snow off the branches. This good act lifts the suicidal person’s spirits causing him to change his mind about killing himself. The small act causes the man to have an enlightened insight.
We have a poisonous Hemlock tree covered in pure, white snow and a man who is depressed, planning to kill himself and walking under the tree. At that precise moment, the black crow of death shakes the pure, good snow onto the man. All that goodness helps the man to change his mind about killing himself. Instead, he decides to live, forget the regret and sorrow to enable healing.
The poem, Dust of Snow by Robert Frost, reiterates that the little things in life can make huge changes in our future. It also shows that if we can take the hard times of life in stride, eventually something will happen to change our situation into happier times. The simple things we do for others can make all the difference. Just think about those random acts of kindness we do and how much they brighten a person’s day and sometimes change their future.
Noticing and appreciating all the small things in life will make our life happier. It will also cause us to have a spirit that is willing to change and therefore succeed.
short questions & answers
Q1: Where and how do you find the poet in the beginning of the poem?
A: The poet is under the hemlock tree and he is in a sad mood.
Q2: Where is crow at that time and what does it do to the tree?
A: The crow is sitting on the tree and it shook the tree.
Q3: How does the poet’s mood get changed?
A: The poet’s mood gets changed the falling of dust of snow on him.
Q4: What happened with the rest of the day of the poet?
A: The rest of the day of poet was saved from ruing as he had started feeling happy and refresh.
Text book questions & answers
Q1: What is a “dust of snow”? What does the poet say has changed his mood? How has the poet’s mood changed?
A: The dust of snow means the fine particles of snow. The falling of snow on the poet changes his mood. The soft and cold touch of snow changed the poet’s mood from sad to happy. Now he feels revived and obliged to the beauty of nature.
Q2: How does Frost present nature in this poem?
A: Frost presents nature in a very different manner in the poem. Generally poets take the birds and trees which are known for their beauty and good qualities like peacock, parrot, cuckoo, mynah and trees full of beautiful flowers and fruits etc.
But here Frost has taken a totally different line, he chooses crow, a bird which is black in colour with very harsh voice and believed to be the symbol of bad omen. Likewise, hemlock tree is a poisonous plant with white flowers. It means he has left all the beautiful colours present in the world and has chosen black and white.
Actually the poet has done so to present his mood and feelings. The crow and hemlock tree represent sorrow and depression felt by him in this materialistic world. On the other hand the dust of snow is the symbol of natural joy and energy. It means passing through the sad and depressing moments the poet is entering into the time full of joy and optimism.
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