Analysis Monday – Cold

Every Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written. Feel free to add your own comments! Thought this one would be approriate for the first post of April!

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“I don’t remember the date, the month. I don’t even remember the time of year. But I know it wasn’t summer. It was cold. Not like the cold of winter, when the gentle frost stings your nose. It was wet and chilly, disagreeable. Like the cold of late autumn, when the birds have already flown away, the trees are bare, the earth is dark yet the sky is too stingy to send a blanket of snow to cover its wretchedness. Or like the cold of early spring, when everything is still tentative, uncertain – when it seems the battle in the sky is not yet over, the sun has been taken prisoner, and the heroes of light could still turn around dolefully and say: “No, we won’t make it; the dark and cold are stronger than us – spring won’t win this time.””

German Sadulaev (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/nov/21/german-sadulaev-chechen-chechnya-war)

This is beautifully layered piece of writing explores his feelings of despair and loss when returning to Chechnya after the first war there.

– Lovely and peaceful (as suggested by word “gentle”) image but the writer has already informed you that this is not the kind of cold he is feeling – foreshadowing what is to come. 

– Rule of three – building up negative images, builds up to a climax of the earth is dark, showing how complete this cold is

– Personfication – showing that the sky, somethingnormally posiutive and beautiful, is now conspiring to create more misery

– Layering up of negative word choice – this all adds to the sense of sadness and hopelessness

– Extended Metaphor – references what the writer will talk about later in the passage but also adds to the mood and atmosphere of this paragraph

– Positive word choice to reinforce again the central images of this paragraph

 

Poetry Friday; Snow Day – Billy Collins

I found this beautiful poem through a good friend – and it is perfect for today!
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Snow Day

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows
the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.
In a while, I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch
sending a cold shower down on us both.
But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news
that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed.
the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with—some will be delighted to hear—
the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and—clap your hands—the Peanuts Play School.
So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.
And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.

Poetry Friday; Frost – Valerie Bloom

A very suitable poem considering the weather Scotland has been having!

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Frost

Overnight, a giant spilt icing sugar on the ground,
He spilt it in the hedgerows, and the trees without a sound,
He made a wedding-cake of the haystack in the field,
He dredged the countryside and the grass was all concealed,
He sprinkled sugar on the roofs, in patches not too neat,
And in the morning when we woke, the world around was sweet.

Valerie Bloom

This is just a gorgeous image and I love the idea of the giant spilling icing sugar everywhere — did he do it deliberately or by accident? (I like to think he did it deliberately, can picture him smiling as he surveyed his work)