Boy at the Window

“Boy at the Window” Response Charlotte Schroeder Ashford University 03/18/2013 ENG 125 Instructor Abby Forster Poetry is very emotional and speaks about real life experiences; poems have rhythm and feelings, delight and surprise. “There are three things, after all, a poem must reach the eye, the ear, and what we may call the heart or the mind. It is most important of all reach the heart of the reader. ” (cited in Clugston, 2010, Frost) In reading Boy at the Window, by Richard Wilbur, it creates a unique look and feeling in response to a child and a snowman.
The author explains in our textbook that it was written, “After seeing how distressed his five-year old son was about a snowman they had built. ” (cited in Clugston, 2010) The message and theme is about how a little boy becomes sad after building a snowman and seeing him outside all alone and sad. Wilbur uses different literary elements to draw strong emotions and express fear of losing a friend/loved one. The author shows us two different points of view in this poem, first with the young boy and then with the cold snowman. In the first few lines the reader thinks that the young boy is crying about the snowman and how petrified he may be.
The boy sees the snowman, while looking out his window he is all alone and by himself. Then the wind is heard from the boy picking up and starts feeling what the snowman might be feeling. There is so much compassion and heartbreak that the boy feels for the snowman at this time. The use of personification is shown while Wilbur states, “the pale faced figure with bituemen eyes return him a God-forsaken stare. ” (cited in Clugston, 2010, “Boy at the Window”, 6) I believe the author Wilbur was creating a unique situation; he uses great personifications for the snowman. Personification is a figure of speech formed when qualities normally associated with a person are attributed to abstract things or inanimate objects. ” (cited in Clugston, 2010) The snowman is the conent, he did not want to go inside the house yet as he looked at the young boys cry. Since the snowman would melt if he went into the heated room, he decides to stay outside even though the boy was crying. However, the snowman’s heart is moved from the boys cry, but cannot live in his world. “The man of snow is, nonetheless, content, having no wish to go inside and die.

Still, he is moved to see the youngster cry. ” (cited in Clugston, 2010, “Boy at the Window” 9) The poem creates a feeling of fear and the unknown of what will happen in the afterlife. It is very sad to see a young child cry since they do not understand yet and will have to go through these hard life situations to really understand it. In the poem Wilbur made the character of the snowman human which created human characteristics to allow the reader get involved. Human nature brings out so many emotions with us and makes us feel compassion for others. An allusion is a reference a writer makes to a recognized literary work, a person, a historic event, or an artistic achievement to clarify the meaning of an action or a detail in a story, poem, or drama. ” (cited in Clugston, 2010) The allusion is shown in Wilbur’s poem, “Return to him such a God-forsaken stare. As outcast Adam gave to paradise. ” (cited in Clugston, 2010, “Boy at the Window”, 7&8) This is a religious and biblical reference referring to Adam and Eve. Adam’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden represents believers of the scripture.
I believe that he was making a statement of fear of not able to help the boy from fear and evil. The language is very strong in its meanings in this poem and makes you feel it with word choices. The temptations of entering their worlds would bring great harm and there was nothing they could do or say to be with each other. There is also a simile used in the line of Adam and the Garden of Eden allusion, the snowman is starring at the poor boy and cannot grasp him, just like Adam was looking at the paradise that was no longer his but just steps away.
Irony is also characterized in this poem, the boy expects that the snowman will always be there as a friend. However, that was not the case, the snowman melted and died in the boys mind. The imagination language was very interesting and was full of surprise. The form of this poem was free verse, “This shown by its irregular rhythm and the lines vary in length and lack in rhyme,” it really made the reader follow the poem easily and made you stay interested in it. cited in Clugston, 2010) However, the author makes you feel that he is loved by the family by warmth inside, “For the child at the bright pane surrounded by such warmth, such light, such love, and so much fear. ” (cited in Clugston, 2010, “Boy at the Window” 15) This makes you feel that the boy has so much fear of death, but still has loved ones to pick him back up. I feel that I could relate to this feeling since I have made so many snowmen in my childhood and lost them all. I can think back and reminisce on how bad I felt when I saw my new friend disappear.
Losing a loved one can be hard; I can relate this also to a child losing a pet, there are no words to even describe how painful it is. I lost a pet as a child and it tour my heart out since my pet would do anything just to stay with me, even if it meant suffering to no end. In life you have to experience hardship and bad situations, it is a learning curve and teaches you about life and death. Poems are so important in our society; they help to get feelings out and express real life situations in a poetic rhythm way.
We face so many hard choices and have to let them be interpreted, “From an economic and cultural sphere increasingly dominated by finance capitol and advertising-gives it a chance to play a vital cultural role in an era of pressing ecological and ecological and economic crisis. ” (Roberts, 2010) The use of the literary elements in Wilbur’s poem affects my response since he uses point of view from both the characters. He used his real life experiences to let the readers connect with his own feeling and this makes it more real. By using literary elements, it pulls out what message he is trying to get across in his poem.
This poem used personification, language, free verse, and allusions to get the readers feelings in touch with the message. References Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into literature. Retrieved from: https://content. ashford. edu/books DiYanni, R. (2007) Literature; Reading fiction, poetry, and Drama. Boston: McGraw Hill Retrieved from://www. ashford. edu/ebooks/host Roberts, A. October 20 (2010). The Righteous Skeptic’s Guide to Reading Poetry. The Alantic Monthly Group. Retrieved from: https://www. thealantic. com

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