A poem about winter that rhymes

6.20  ·  2,112 ratings  ·  126 reviews
a poem about winter that rhymes

Its Snowing! Its Snowing!: Winter Poems by Jack Prelutsky

Its no secret that illustrations influence the tone and quality of a book. When Its Snowing! Its Snowing! came out in 1984, it featured black-and-white drawings by Jeanne Titherington, but upon its 2006 republication, all-new illustrations by Yossi Abolafia were swapped in, and the two artists styles are dramatically different. Jack Prelutsky worked with Marilyn Hafner in Its Valentines Day, Its Halloween, Its Thanksgiving, and Its Christmas, and Yossi Abolafias style is much closer to hers than Jeanne Titheringtons was, so natural continuity feels more in place for Yossi Abolafias Its Snowing! Its Snowing! than the original version. Ultimately, the artwork in both incarnations of the book is so tenderly expressive of Jack Prelutskys poetic sentiment that I cant commend either illustrator as substantially better than the other, though if pressed to choose, Id pick Yossi Abolafia for this book. His artistry is more versatile than Jeanne Titheringtons, suited for the comedic as well as the sublime, and thats an ideal fit for Jack Prelutsky.

The collection of sixteen poems begins with the title verse, a lighthearted ode to the excitement of the years inaugural snow, and the vague yet insistent hope that if enough of the powdery white settles on the ground before morning, school might be cancelled the next day. Whats a more welcome relief than a day off in the midst of the coldest portion of the year? One Last Little Leaf sees the world poised on the verge of winter, reluctant to take that last step into the icy deluge thats going to set in for the next several months. As long as summer birds still tweet and a leaf or two remains high in the trees, the worst of winter has to wait before roaring in and taking over everyday life. But One Last Little Leaf is more deeply meaningful than just a snapshot of our collective hesitation on the threshold of winter solstice. Its a poignant picture of expectation as it drifts toward hopelessness, the optimism of youth and spring dying out or going dormant under snowy sheets of bitter cold. But does not a ray of sunshine pierce tomorrows gloom as long as that one little leaf holds tightly to its branch, as long as the songbird stays firmly on its perch and warbles tunes of warmth and hope? Sometimes a lone, sweet robin and a tenacious green leaf are all that stands between us and the frigid grasp of winter.

Theres a leaf clinging fast to
a branch,
though withered, it somehow
holds on,
and a single bird singing its song,
though all of its kindred have gone.

And as long as that little leaf stays,
and as long as that stubborn
bird sings,
then autumn remains in the world,
and winter must wait in the wings.

One Last Little Leaf, P. 10

December Days Are Short is next, depicting a day playing in the snow with friends, from just after breakfast until sunset. Darkness descends quickly in the dead of winter, so theres not a lot of time for outdoor games, to the chagrin of kids everywhere. But dont our best days tend to feel shortest no matter what part of the year they take place? December Days Are Short is one poem where Yossi Abolafias illustrations have an advantage over Jeanne Titheringtons, but hers retain a certain charm, too, particularly the picture of our smiling main character standing atop a pyramid of five other kids on their hands and knees in the snow. Ill take Yossi Abolafias rendering of the kids dragging their sleds off into the setting sun instead, but both images are nice. Shadow Thought and Winter Signs are snippets of seasonal observation, and Winters Come is a parade of lovely language that shows the full onset of the solstice, as the mercury plunges to forbidding temperatures and realization sets in that ice, snow, and slush are going to be our ever-present companions for a long while. Jeanne Titheringtons black-and-white snowy landscapes are especially evocative of the feeling this poem conveys. My Mother Took Me Skating displays Jack Prelutskys famed sense of humor, the story of a mom whos quite competent at figure skating bringing her kid to the outdoor rink. Yossi Abolafias illustration demonstrates the payoff of the poems comical final line much more clearly than Jeanne Titheringtons. My Snowman Has a Noble Head sees a couple of boys building a stocky snowman complete with all manner of accoutrements, but the snowman may be subconsciously modeled after a certain member of the family. Winter is notorious as cold and flu season, and I Am Freezing! leads up to the reveal that the kid has a head cold which is likely to curtail his fun in the snow for a week or two.

We move on to My Sister Would Never Throw Snowballs at Butterflies, about a boy whose sibling never pelts any other creature with missiles of compact ice and snow, but wouldnt miss the chance to fire a few at him. Snowball fights are one of the unique recreations of the season. My Mothers Got Me Bundled Up is reminiscent of Ralphie and Randy Parkers plight in the classic holiday movie A Christmas Story, with a mother who packs her children so tightly in warm clothes that they can hardly stand or walk. Getting ready to go to school was like getting ready for extended deep-sea diving, Ralphie says in the movie. Im a living, breathing model of a walking clothing shop is how Jack Prelutsky describes the kids predicament in Its Snowing! Its Snowing!. My Mothers Got Me Bundled Up is an amusing, nostalgic bit of poetry. Stuck in the Snow is a short, quippy verse that gets in a good grumble about having to shovel snow, a gripe revisited later in this collection. Kids generally dont mind extreme weather in winter as long as the snow is fluffy and fun to play in, as I Do Not Mind You, Winter Wind observes. But even a patient child who doesnt stew over long stretches of brutal cold can be upset by winter when it gets a little too pushy. The concluding line of the poem is classic Jack Prelutsky, lightly humorous and full of the seasons positive energy.

A snowflake fell into my hand,
a tiny, fragile gem,
a frosty crystal flowerlet
with petals, but no stem.

I wondered at the beauty
of its intricate design,
I breathed, the snowflake vanished,
but for moments, it was mine.

A Snowflake Fell, P. 41

Incredible. A Snowflake Fell is the centerpiece of this book, by far the most powerful poem, resonating in perpetuity into forgotten corners of the human soul. The beauty of light and love and happiness and joy that we see in winter like no other season, seeming as though it will never end and then suddenly shifting to spring, is palpable in this poem, but theres so much more than that. The enchantedness of life is an impossibly intricate snowflake melting in our hand faster than we can savor it, in our grasp one second and dissolved into eternity the next, a glorious miniature tapestry of silken frost created and destroyed with no voice to sing of its splendor for all who never witnessed its complex beauty up close. A Snowflake Fell brings to mind no less urgently the memory of loved ones who waft into our sphere of existence like delicate, downy specks of frozen precipitation, blessing us with their closeness when they miraculously settle into our outstretched palm. Yet we know that regardless how fervently we wish to keep them forever just as they were in that first moment, forever is a petition granted no one in this lifetime. We marvel at the engineering that created them, but snow always warms into water, and the awesome artistry of our own favorite snowflake eventually dissolves back into elemental homogeny. But what a wondrous time we had when we cradled them in the palm of our hand, unapologetically, inarguably ours. A Snowflake Fell is Jack Prelutsky at his utmost, as good as any verse Shel Silverstein wrote, the magnum opus of an author whose crowning as Childrens Poet Laureate of the United States was affirmation to every youngster who ever picked up a Prelutsky poem and loved what they read.

When Snowflakes Are Fluttering uses the most gorgeous language of the entire volume, vivid, sensuous descriptions of snow in its varied forms. When snowflakes are fluttering fluttering fluttering down in the cold winter night, I watch with surprise, as they fill up my eyes with uncountable pinpoints of light. When snowflakes are shimmering shimmering shimmering gently on top of my hair, to give me a crown of soft powdery down, I wish they would always be there. Some of the prettiness of When Snowflakes Are Fluttering is the use of special fonts, which cant be reproduced in this review, but the effulgent language speaks for itself. Even without the sixteenth poem, Its Snowing! Its Snowing! would have ended on a high note for the inclusion of When Snowflakes Are Fluttering.

My Snowman sadly bowed
his head
in March, one sunny day,
and this is what he softly said
before he went away:

IN THE MIDDLE OF DECEMBER
I WAS HANDSOME, ROUND,
AND TALL,
NOW I HARDLY CAN REMEMBER
THOSE DECEMBER DAYS AT ALL.
OH MY STOMACHS STARTED
SHRINKING,
I AM LOSING ALL MY FORM,
AND IM THINKING AS IM
SHRINKING
THAT I WISH IT WERENT WARM.

I CAN FEEL MY SHOULDERS
STOOPING
AS MY BODYS GETTING THIN,
MY NOSE HAS STARTED
DROOPING
AND MY MOUTH HAS LOST
ITS GRIN,
I AM SURELY GETING
SHORTER,
THERE IS LITTLE LEFT
OF ME,
MY HEAD IS BUT A QUARTER
OF THE SIZE IT USED TO BE.

I AM GETTING HARD OF HEARING
AND MY VISIONS LITTLE USE,
FOR MY EARS ARE DISAPPEARING
AND MY EYES ARE COMING LOOSE.
THROUGH THE ICY WEEKS
OF WINTER
I STOOD PROUDER THAN A KING,
NOW IM THINNER THAN
A SPLINTER,
WINTERS MELTING INTO SPRING!

The Snowmans Lament, PP. 44-47

The last poem of the lot, The Snowmans Lament, is as emotional as anything in this collection, a profoundly poignant construct about the transience of life and how fleeting ones time is at the top of the mountain. Our best days whiz by as quickly as they do because were never going to be ready for them to end; once weve tasted the pleasures of achievement and personal contentment, well never happily settle for less. Life is shorter than we care to admit, and the time is nigh upon us when the superb strength we depended on to carry the day so many times will falter, and a wave of melting heat unlike any weve encountered will be too much to withstand. But though were shrinking by the day and cant figure out how to freeze time for even a moment to regain our bearings and appreciate the twilight of our season in the sun as the clock runs out on us, its not all bad. What we have today melts only because spring is imminent, the renewal of all thats excellent and beautiful and worthy just like what we held dear in the halcyon days of our past. Theres a new chapter to write, pen poised to start scrawling, a new season of warmth and vitality following on the heels of prolonged winter. As excruciating as the process of death and rebirth is, sometimes its best to start over, and our cherished days of yore wont be forgotten in the rejuvenation of seasons to come. Theres always another spring, summer, fall, and winter to follow, and as long as that cycle remains, so too will our hope of revisiting past glories through the miracle of renewal.

Jack Prelutsky is purveyor of more quality poetry than just about any other childrens author in American history, but hes raised the bar for himself in Its Snowing! Its Snowing! Several strong selections stand out, but to me this anthology clearly revolves around One Last Little Leaf, A Snowflake Fell, and The Snowmans Lament, three of the best pieces Jack Prelutsky ever composed. Chiefly because of those three poems, Im rating Its Snowing! Its Snowing! three and a half stars, and seriously considered rounding that up to four. Procuring two copies of the book—one with Jeanne Titheringtons illustrations, the other with Yossi Abolafias—is worth the time and effort, as the poems feel quite different depending on whos bringing them to visual life. If I were to suggest just one Jack Prelutsky book to get a reader hooked on his writing, it would probably be Its Snowing! Its Snowing!, which is saying a lot for the creator of so many volumes of distinguished poetry adored by multiple generations. I love this book more than I know how to express, and hope it stands through time as testament to one of the great youth poets the world has known. See you next winter, Jack Prelutsky, when you and every gentle snowflake and proud snowman anyone ever loved will once again reanimate in the pages of this book. I look forward to it.
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Published 30.12.2018

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Elementary Resources Links Submit About. Just think think think, Of things you can do, To make yourself better, Before the year's through. Resolutions can be tough, Or simple as can be, Making resolutions, Are great for you and me! So what will you promise, To help yourself my dear Through insert year , Have a happy new year! Click on the image below for a printable of this poem:. Good bye good bye, Our year is done, We worked we played we had some fun, So let's be happy and safe and kind, As we welcome another one. Happy !

4 thoughts on “Its Snowing! Its Snowing!: Winter Poems by Jack Prelutsky

  1. Poems about winter. You can read the best winter poems. Browse through all winter poems.

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