Winter Morning

Winter Morning

By Ogden Nash

Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes.

Smooth and clean and frosty white,
The world looks good enough to bite.
That’s the season to be young,
Catching snowflakes on your tongue!
Snow is snowy when it’s snowing.
I’m sorry it’s slushy when it’s going.

Summary of Winter Morning

  • Popularity of “Winter Morning”: “Winter Morning” is a short descriptive poem written by Ogden Nash, one of the leading American poets and writers. This wonderful piece doesn’t have an exact publication date. However, it must have been written between mid-20th century. The poem expresses the unfettered joy of the speaker during the winter season. The writer presents a vivid, sensory, and delightful picture of the winter season. The poem captures the vision on how we regain their childlike thrill, wonder and amazement at seeing the winter season in full bloom.
  • “Winter Morning” As a Representative of Wonder: The poem captures the lure of nature from the speaker’s eyes. The jaw-dropping description of the arrival of the winter makes him fall in love with this chilly season. The poet calls it the king of showmen because its arrival brings notable changes to the world. It changes treetops into snowy peaks, houses into birthday cakes, while the lakes wear the white blanket of snow. Thus, the clean and frosty season welcomes everyone to taste its joy. Although the world gets slushy when it’s snowing, yet it brings happiness and excitement to the people.
  • Major Themes in “Winter Morning”: The bounties of nature, merriment and wonder are the major themes of the poem. Throughout the poem, the speaker sings in the praise of the winter season that not only it decorates the world with snow but also it brings delight to our hearts. The speaker is touched by the shift of season; he adores the beauty of nature and stresses the need to welcome this chilly season wholeheartedly.

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in “Winter Morning”

literary devices are tools that allow the writers to choose their words to create their unique style and convey their ideas, feelings and emotions to the readers. Ogden Nash has also employed some literary devices in this poem to show the wonders of winter. Following is the analysis of some literary devices used in this poem.

  1. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line such as the sound of /i/ in “Winter is the king of showmen”.
  2. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line in quick succession. For example, the sound of /w/ in “Snow is snowy when it’s snowing”.
  3. Anaphora: It refers to the repetition of a word or expression in the first part of some
  4. Enjambment: It is a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break; instead, it rolls over to the next line. For example,

“Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes.”

  1. Hyperbole: Hyperbole is a device used to exaggerate a statement for the sake of emphasis. Ogden exaggerates the beauty of the winter throughout the poem such as “Winter is the king of showmen.”
  2. Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. For example, “Catching snowflakes on your tongue”, “And houses into birthday cakes” and “Turning tree stumps into snow men.”
  3. Metaphor: It is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between the objects different in nature. The poet compares winter with a king in the opening line where it is stated as “Winter is the king of showmen.”
  4. Symbolism: Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings different from the literal meanings. Here “winter” and “snow” symbolize the beauty and grandeur of nature.

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in “Winter Morning”

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. End Rhyme: End rhyme is used to make a stanza melodious. For example, “cakes/lakes”, “white/bite” and “young/tongue.”
  2. Quatrain: A quatrain is a four-lined stanza borrowed from Persian poetry. Here, the first stanza is a quatrain.
  3. Rhyme Scheme: The poem follows an ABAB rhyme scheme, and this pattern continues until the end.
  4. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. This poem has two stanzas with each comprising a different number of verses.
  5. Sestet: A sestet is a six-lined stanza borrowed from Italian poetry. Here, the second stanza is sestet.

Quotes to be Used

The lines stated below are useful by the teachers to give the students a catchy and impressive description of the winter season.

Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes.”