Summary and Analysis of A Patch of Old Snow by Robert Frost

Robert Frost was born on 26th March 1874, in San Francisco After the death of his father from tuberculosis when Frost was eleven years old, he moved with his mother and sister to Lawrence, Massachusetts. He became interested in reading and writing poetry during his high school years there, and eventually enrolled at Dartmouth College and later at Harvard University in Boston, though he never earned a formal college degree. The poem “A Patch of Old Snow” is one of the shortest yet sweet poems by Robert Frost.

Summary of A Patch of Snow by Robert Frost

In the first stanza, contemplating a prior thought, the poet notices, what is, a patch of old snow but unintelligently reduces it to a mere patch of a worn out newspaper weighed down by a heavy downpour.

But upon pondering further, putting two and two together, he says that he should have guessed this beauty as an indication of a prevailing winter.


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The poet guilty of not appreciating the serenity and bliss of a “white” tranquil winter goes on to say, in the second stanza, that the patch should have been a peaceful white and not laden with grime, thus, resembling the fine print of a newspaper. Frost says that the winter snow is a flawless white and not dirty old snow.


Hence, his misidentification is solely unintentional. In the last two lines, Frost justifies his behavior by admitting that he rarely reads the newspaper only to forget yesterday’s headlines. Therefore, even the patch of old snow is a sign of a forgotten winter.

Thus, both, the allure of winter and the newspaper headlines are callously abandoned and forgotten about.

 

Analysis of A Patch of Snow by Robert Frost

A Patch of Old Snow seems to capture the essence of regret and forgetfulness upon missing out on an important grasp.

In the poem, the poet weaves a connection between his youth and snow. He feels he has missed out on his childhood and now it’s too late since the snow is now old and dirty. He feels that something, when not grasped at the right time, can be weighed down heavily upon, in his case, a heavy downpour akin to time.

Robert Frost does not want to give away a certain instant about is lost childhood and thus, reminisces about it. The old snow brings to light how he should’ve stepped on snow and played on it when it was a serene white but now nothing can be done for it has acquired grit and dirt. Just like how he forgets the headlines of the day before, he has forgotten about his childhood ages ago.

Abhishek is a marketing research and social media consultant who developed a keen interest in blogging. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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