Boy at the Window
ENG 125: Journey into Literature
Instructor: Deborah Cunningham
April 1, 2013
In “ Boy at the Window,” Richard Wilbur uses poetry to tell the story of a boy looking out a window. He writes of his son’s fear for a snowman that will be left alone to weather the conditions of a stormy night. His poetry is efficient in expressing that the boys’ emotions and conflict with the scenario, and the snowman’s gratefulness for his empathy, but much like all poetry, it leaves the audience to interpret the tone and mood. Wilbur’s analogy, “As outcast Adam gave to paradise,” establishes this as a lyrical poem. A lyrical poem is that of which the writer engages one imagination and produces feelings in its reader. Which then gives a songlike quality. In this part, simile is used in this part of speech. Simile is when using like or as compares two distinct things. Myself as the reader expresses its tone in a way that I can relate in a religious biblical way as he describes “ a God-forsaken stare, as outcast Adam gave to paradise,” Clugston, 2010, para. 1. This religious reference refers to the boy being in “paradise” while the snowman, compared to Adam, has been cast out into the “non-paradise”.
As Clugston states, Poetry always evokes strong feelings. In Wilbur's poem, for example, expresses deep compassion. The compassion of the speaker who sensitively recognizes the boy's innocent concern and, more deeply, the compassion of the boy as he looks at the snowman "standing all alone / in dusk and cold." It conveys the boy's fearful feelings about the "gnashing’s and enormous moan" of the wind, in terms used to instill a sense of agony and loud scary sounds. Beyond that, it suggests a sense of alienation that the boy is experiencing, perhaps for the first time as he imagines being an "outcast" from the security and love that he treasures.
This poem in turn comes from the irony of the situation. The boy is fearful and crying for the snowman...