Snowdrop By Ted Hughes
Snowdrops are white coloured flowers. They do not even wait for the snow to melt before emerging from their winter sleep, instead of pushing right up through the snow – a delightful sight for the winter-weary. The white of the snowdrop symbolises innocence and purity. Because it is the first flower to bloom at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, it also symbolises hope.
Central Idea of snowdrop: Life is full of struggles and hardships. The person who tackles these hindrances with determination and courage is said to be brave and successful. Nature also uses various processes to teach the humans the lesson of success by determination and positive approach. For example, snowdrops which are small white flowers bloom in harsh and severe winter and cut its way open through the frosty earth.
Summary of Snowdrop: The poem entitled “Snowdrop” has been authored by “Edward James Hughes” or “Ted Hughes”(pen name). The poet presents the harsh and cruel image of nature, unlike other poets who depict her beauty and glamour. The poet pictures the life of different aerial and terrestrial animals which are affected by the severe winter. Finally, he talks about a flower called Snowdrop which blooms in harsh winter. He admires the flower of Snowdrop for sprouting through the frosty earth’s surface.
In the commencing stanza, the poet says that the globe has shrunk because of the extreme cold. He says that cold has stagnated the movement of active and brisk creatures like a mouse, which seem to be dull and inactive. Further, the poet says that the crows, which are free to fly anywhere, are also restricted by the cold weather, and the weasels also remain dormant as if they are moulded into the statues of brass. Even if these creatures try to move out in order to find their prey, it appears as if days were converted into nights because everything seems to be dozing and lifeless. Moreover, they try to return to their places quickly due to the threat of death because of the chilly winter and, thus, this seems to be worried and senseless.
In the next stanza, the poet turns his attention towards the little, gloomy flower, Snowdrop which blooms in such harsh weather and cuts its way open through the frosty earth. It blooms in a beautiful way like the stars of winter season which shine without any consideration of cold and hot season. The snowdrop blooms with its drooping flowers which make a feel that its small, pale head is made of metal. Despite its heavy flowers and severe winter, it achieves its goal and blooms.
Analysis of Snowdrop by Ted Hughes
The “Snowdrop” is an acclaimed poem that is succinct and precise in its symbolism. The Snowdrop alludes to a flowering plant with little milk-white flowers blossoming toward the end of winter. The snowdrop truly means a drop of snow that is at once emblematic of short life and immortality. Along these lines, it is about the cruel winter that approaches life and how fleeting life is.
The very first line of the poem “Now is the globe shrunk tight” shows the compression and condensation that has set in due to winter. One marvel of the Poem is that the poet had predicted the effect of globalization, as he declares the same. All things considered, here it has all the signs of being the effect of winter having a negative impact on the globe.
The agile mouse’s heart has turned out to be extremely dull, ’round’ as if it has twisted around the mouse. The weasel that is busy with its red fuzzy coat preying rodents, crow about its obligation as a scavenger, seem, by all accounts, to be moulded in brass. Their jolly developments have rendered into substantial steps with the heaviness of metal. They have been captured as if in metal, in a chilly fixture. They appear to move in external darkness. As they achieve the winter of their lives, they are with other deaths. The lines may likewise imply that with the advent of winter the creatures have lost their sense of sharpness and became distracted.
The regularly used symbol, that is, the use of metals in the Bible are concealed riddle pieces used by God to fit together a greater image of the salvation procedure. Understanding the use of these metals gives a more profound comprehension of the grand way God wrote the Bible. Metal, silver, and gold are metals used to emblematically depict the profound refinement and development of Christians, from salvation to glorification. Especially in the example of Moses’ sanctuary in the wilderness.
Therefore, the reference to the creatures may figuratively apply to people who swing to spirituality and refinement as they enter the winter of their lives. How their survival nature (the act of preying) may constrain itself just to the need for survival. They move in ‘outer darkness’, however with an inward radiance.
She, too, pursues her ends,
Brutal as the stars of this month,
Her pale head heavy as metal.
The “She” toward the end of the poem may refer to the Snowdrop, the flowering plant. It might likewise mean Mother Earth. The blossoms of the flowering plant are weighed down with snow and thus heavy and crystal-like. In this manner, they are the merciless stars of the night that help the preying creatures in their undertaking. Note that they are not “guiding stars” but rather brutal stars as they help the slaughtering of different creatures. It represents, how for Hughes, violence not just plagued the creature world, it additionally pervaded the natural vegetative world.
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Thinking About The Poem- Snowdrop
1. How has nature shrunk the globe?
Ans.: Nature has shrunk the globe by enclosing it in a blanket of severe and harsh winter. It has restricted all the creatures to their dwelling places and they feel the earth to be small and limited for them.
2.What has dulled the mouse’s heart?
Ans.: The active mouse’s heart has been dulled and deactivated by the chilly, harsh winter.
3. What sufferings do the animals undergo in the poem?
Ans.: The animals suffer a lot due to the winter season. Their movements are curtailed; everything appears to be dull, gloomy and dark; even the days seem similar to nights and it becomes difficult for them to hunt for prey. Overall winter creates havoc in the life of all the creatures.
4. Write a short note of 50 – 100 words on Hughes’ view of nature.
Ans.: Ted Hughes is a nature lover undoubtedly because he captures the beauty of nature appears in a negative way. He is pessimistic towards nature. He portrays the harsh winter and its impact on the life of aerial, arboreal and terrestrial animals. He feels that most of the creatures die or perish in this season and many animals decrease their daily activities and movements because of the threat of death due to chilly winter.
Finally, he describes a small flower, Snowdrop which depicts his loving feelings towards nature. He is highly impressed with the little drooping flower which withstands the terrible weather to bloom. The poet compares the flower to the heavenly stars which are also determined to shine regardless of the harsh winter conditions.
5. “Her pale head heavy as metal” Explain.
Ans.: The snowdrop is a small drooping flower which erupts out of the earth’s surface and bends down as if its dull head is made of hard metal.
Line by Line a Brief Analysis of snowdrop
Line 1 of Snowdrop
“Globe shrunk tightly” alludes to a microcosm which could mean the subjects of the poem are referring to the to the entire world.
Line 2 of Snowdrop
“Round” could connect with the title and theme cycles of death and resurrection since snowdrops are famous of the springtime and passing is extremely noticeable inside the poem. “Dulled wintering heart” is expressive of the mouse and how it is dying and in the winter of its life. This additionally links with the seasons and death subjects as it’s the dead time of the year and the season when much wildlife life is either dead or dormant
Line 3 of Snowdrop
“Weasel and crow” are predators of the mouse and “moulded in brass” would influence it to appear as if the mouse can’t contact them or harm them leaving the mouse frail. There are two comers on this line which backs it off and gives it a creeping feel as if the animals are hunting or being hunted.
Line 4 of Snowdrop
“Outer darkness” the predators are perpetually in the darkness holding up to kill the mouse and other prey.
Line 5 of Snowdrop
“Right minds” This could be stating that the mouse and other prey wouldn’t go into the darkness in their normal minds. This is a short line and could be expected to be read quickly. This could speak to the heart beating quicker in light of the fact that the mouse is close to death and battling for breath or in light of the fact that a predator is near.
Line 6 of Snowdrop
“Other deaths” could mean to the deaths of things in winter. “She…ends” could be discussing the mouse being prepared to die.
“Brutal stars” this could be the stars of misfortune and perhaps alluding that she’s been specifically made for winter, born as she is under this particular set of “stars.” . (Hughes was very interested in astrology, which holds that the stars you’re born under determine your character and fate.)
“Brutal stars” this could be the stars of misfortune and in winter the stars are fierce in light of the fact that a ton of animals die and brutal stars help in the slaughtering of these animals.
Line 8 of Snowdrop
“Pale” would mean that either all the blood has gone or that the skin is malnourished due to severe winter. “Heavy … metal” this makes to appear as though its extremely difficult to move perhaps the creature hasn’t eaten much because of its winter.