‘The Darkling Thrush’ and ‘Snow in the Suburbs. ‘ Both poems deal with the presence or lack of hope. Though hope may not be mentioned many times throughout the poem, it is clear ‘The Darkling Thrush’ optimises hope, whereas ‘Snow in the Suburbs’ does quite the opposite. ‘The Darkling Thrush’ begins with the introduction of an unknown character describing all that he sees and feels around him in negatively superficial detail.
This is done by continuously using exaggerated personifications, ‘The wind his death-lament. ‘ These help give the poem depth and so when reading through the poem, it is very clear when the poem takes on a positive tone: ‘At once a voice arose among The bleak twigs overhead’ The introduction of hope can be seen as anything good or positive taking place when there is nothing but negativity around. In this part of the poem it comes suddenly, as emphasized by the ‘At once’ in the first line of the second stanza.Order now
It brings Warmth to a poem which in the previous two stanzas expressed nothing but cold and negative emotions, which were further enhanced by alliterations, such as: ‘The Century’s corpse out leant His crypt the cloudy canopy,’ The character in the poem is clearly in a very pessimistic mood, this is made obvious in the first line of the last stanza where he reprehends the Thrush’s’ actions; ‘So little cause for carolings’. In the last 4 lines of the last stanza it becomes apparent that though the unknown character in the poem maybe in a pessimistic mood, he is not actually hopeless.
‘Some blessed hope, whereof he knew And I was unaware. ‘ By questioning the actions of the thrush, he himself eventually realises that hope may exist only he is unaware as to when it may come or what form it maybe in. ‘Snow in the Suburbs’ also contains a great depth of detail, but unlike ‘The Darkling Thrush’ the detail is not superficial, it has been described as one would see it from the human eye, not human mind: ‘The palings are glued together like a wall,’.
The Atmosphere in the beginning of this poem is one of softness, cold and quiet, which is further emphasized by the use of alliterations: ‘And there is no waft of wind with the fleecy fall. ‘, this however changes later on where it becomes one of eeriness, cold and quiet: ‘A black cat comes, wide-eyed and thin;’ Throughout the whole of this poem not once does it take on a positive tone, the closest it does get, is when ‘A sparrow enters the tree’, there’s somewhat a feeling of liveliness added to the quietness of the atmosphere.
This however is extremely short lived as the bird soon becomes a victim of the snow, and he dies. ‘A snow-lump thrice his own slight size Descends on him and showers his head and eyes,’ This I feel is eerie because it’s almost as if the snow has taken revenge on the bird for disturbing and altering the atmosphere it has worked so hard to create. For me, the last line in this poem has a greater impact than the whole of the poem put together, its almost as if the snow and the cat worked together to get rid of the bird.
The snow destroyed and the cat devoured any evidence left over: ‘And we take him in. ‘ The tone of each poem is quite similar, although they don’t both dominantly portray the same negative ness. In ‘The Darkling Thrush’ we have stronger emotions and a more morbid insight to the poem which ends with an unexpected arrival of hope. Whereas with ‘Snow in the Suburbs’ we have a safer start to the poem, a slight flicker of hope which ends with death of both the hope and a character, thus creating more of a stir, and so to me making it more fascinating.