James Russell Lowell - PowerPoint by LMPY8tz


									James Russell Lowell
• Lowell lost three of his four children at the height
  of his literary fame.
   – In the mid-1800s, this was not uncommon.
   – 1/3 of children born in urban areas died before the
     age of 21 due to diseases such as measles,
     diphtheria, and small pox
• Wrote “The First Snow-Fall” for one of his
   – The child Mabel in the poem is his lone living
       “The First Snow-Fall”
• Poem’s title refers to the first snow fall
  since the death of his daughter
• Stanzas 1-4 describe the overnight fall of
  snow on the land, the trees, the shed, and
  the fence.
• It is in the fifth stanza that the speaker
  introduces the image of a snow-covered
   “The First Snow-Fall” (cont.)
• In the seventh stanza, the reader can infer
  that the “first great sorrow” was the death
  of his child.
• In the ninth stanza, the reader sees the
  use of what could be considered figurative
  – Lines 34-36 – “The snow that husheth all, /
    Darling, the merciful Father / Alone can make
    it fall!”
     • Death results from God’s will.
• Time blurs the sharpness of grief.

  – Implied through the imagery of the gradually
    falling snow

  – Time heals.
                 The Snow
• Lowell uses alternate words for snow that
  have positive connotations.
  – “ermine too dear for an earl”
  – “pearl”
  – “sheds new roofed with Carrara
  – “stiff rails softened to swan’s down
          The Snow (cont.)
• Snow = the ability to find comfort over the
  course of time

• Makes things softer, quieter, and more

• Creates a silent, white world
              The Snow (cont.)
• The snow conveys a number of feelings/ideas in
  the poem.
  –   Peacefulness (line 1-4)
  –   Beauty (lines 5-8)
  –   Change (lines 9-12)
  –   Perseverance (line 14)
  –   Compassion (lines 17-20)
  –   Patience (lines 29-32)
  –   Holiness (lines 33-36)
  –   Protectiveness (lines 17-29; 40)
            View of Death
• Lowell views death in a very serious and
  respectful manner.
• He sees this death as sad, and this is very
  sacred to him.
• However, he views all these events as
  God’s work/will.

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