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Winter Landscape Analysis



Author: poem of John Berryman Type: poem Views: 9

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The three men coming down the winter hill

In brown, with tall poles and a pack of hounds

At heel, through the arrangement of the trees,

Past the five figures at the burning straw,

Returning cold and silent to their town,



Returning to the drifted snow, the rink

Lively with children, to the older men,

The long companions they can never reach,

The blue light, men with ladders, by the church

The sledge and shadow in the twilit street,



Are not aware that in the sandy time

To come, the evil waste of history

Outstretched, they will be seen upon the brow

Of that same hill: when all their company

Will have been irrecoverably lost,



These men, this particular three in brown

Witnessed by birds will keep the scene and say

By their configuration with the trees,

The small bridge, the red houses and the fire,

What place, what time, what morning occasion



Sent them into the wood, a pack of hounds

At heel and the tall poles upon their shoulders,

Thence to return as now we see them and

Ankle-deep in snow down the winter hill

Descend, while three birds watch and the fourth flies.





Submitted by Michael Schiavo






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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This is an ekphrastic poem, one written in response to art, in this case to Brueghel\'s Hunters in the Snow (1565). It is one sentence long and appears to be an imagist view, capturing the moment as the painting does. Like Keats\' \"Ode on a Grecian Urn,\" the art is frozen in time, depicting a scene that can never change. \"The long companions they can never reach,\" will always be waiting for the hunters who will be forever returning. Time stands still in art.
Shatzie

| Posted on 2010-09-26 | by a guest




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