"white christmas" analysis

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Simon Armitage’s “White Christmas” analysis

A poem written by Simon Armitage “White Christmas” is seemed to be a simple description of   the special day. However the British poet embraced a deep symbolic meaning behind the absurd flow of events.

The first stanza begins with words “For once it is a white Christmas”. The phase “for once” indicates that the celebrated day was expected and finally approached. The next three lines describe the town covered with snow and thus the speaker of the poem is separated from his wife. In the last line of the stanza the author uses an ellipsis. The sencence is missing a verb – a predicate. “[his wife] In bed, awake, alone.”   I suppose the aim was to emphasize the loneliness of the situation. Then, there is an enjambment, as two last words of the first stanza are the beginning of the sentence that continues in the next one.

In the second stanza the speaker tells about the christmas gift he received “(..) a watch, te very onne/I would have chosen”. The present from his wife, with whom he speaks on the phone, was very ordinary. The watch, personificated, “sits in its sleeve”. The moment of reflextions over the gift and the passing time is disturbed by a dog. Again, using enjambment the author goes to the next stanza.

The third stanza begins with words “unsung and unopened” refering to the watch. They produce melanchonic mood, but suddenly it is interrupter by a dog calling for its needs. The rush is expressed by listing the dog’s behaviour: “worrying, gnawing, howling”. The speaker later is walking slowly at “a steady pace then to my parents’ place”

In the fourth stanza the author contrasts persona’s parents. The mother is “Maria Curie, in the kitchen/discovering radium” and the father is “Fred Flistone”. In contrary with a very intelligent and talented female Nobel prize winner, another parent is a clown character from a cartoon. Then a third person appears, “a guest from the past”, whose face expresses the negative...

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  • on March 3, 2009
  • Category: English
  • Length: 847 words
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