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Comparing “To Winter” by Claude McKay and “After the Winter Rain” by Ina Coolbrith

“To Winter” and “After the Winter Rain” are both related to the same topic of the winter period. However, they display this season from different aspects: Claude McKay expresses his desire for winter to stay and Ina Coolbrith explains how spring comes after winter. In addition, the poems are visibly structured in a different way, and both authors opt for using various stylistic devices in their pieces.

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To begin with, “To Winter” is aimed to show McKay’s love and admiration for the cold season of the year. For instance, the poem begins with him begging winter to stay longer, “Stay, season of calm love and soulful snows! / Oh stay!” (McKay, lines 1, 11). Claud McKay then starts displaying and explaining the signs that point to spring coming, “day now longer grows / a subtle sweetness in the sun” (McKay, lines 2, 5). He tells the reader his guess, inclining that the warmer season has already come, “I read these pregnant signs, know what they mean: I know that thou art making ready to go” (McKay, lines 9-10).

Forthwith, Claude McKay describes his homeland with a hot climate and palm trees growing, concluding that winter, in contrast to it, seems beautiful and unusual to him (McKay). Precisely his familiarity with warm weather is the reason for his love and admiration for the winter, which he clearly presents to the reader in his poem “To Winter” (McKay). Overall, one might consider this piece of writing as a letter to the cold winter months full of pleasant emotions and feelings.

In contrast, Ina Coolbrith’s “After the Winter Rain” describes the process of spring coming and changing with winter in vivid detail. The author uses metaphors to emphasize the shift to the spring in thunder and waves, “Woods shall ring, blithe and gay / calls the thunder / the waves shall come” (Coolbrith, lines 5, 10, 13). Furthermore, in the last lines, Coolbrith states that with winter goes the sadness, and the following season is expected to bring more joy and warmer emotions, “Sing, heart!—for thee again Joy comes with the morrow” (Coolbrith, lines 19-20).

Another critical point is that the author employs adjectives that are unsuitable for the objects they describe to focus on the drastic change of seasons, “… the winds are bitter / dainty, flowers of foam” (Coolbrith, lines 8, 15). Overall, Ina Coolbrith mainly expresses her happiness as the spring is finally to come and brings more joy to people so they can forget about the sorrow of the winter.

To sum up, even though both poems are strongly connected to the same topic: the coldest season of the year, they do have numerous differences. While McKay focuses on his love for winter, Coolbrith states her incredible desire for spring to finally come and change the winter’s sadness to happy feelings again. Crucial to realize that McKay also includes his personal experience in the poem to provide readers with more evidence for his incredible love and admiration for the winter. In addition, when Claude McKay explains the signs of spring coming, he employs considerably less detail and stylistic devices than Ina Coolbrith, making the narrative more dull and boring. In contrast, “After the Winter Rain” is full of metaphors, epithets that focus the reader’s attention on pleasant signs that indicate the coming of the next, warmer season.

Works Cited

Coolbrith, Ina. “After the Winter Rain.” Academy of American Poets, 2021. Web.

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McKay, Claude. “To Winter.Academy of American Poets, 2021. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, November 16). Comparing “To Winter” by Claude McKay and “After the Winter Rain” by Ina Coolbrith. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/comparing-to-winter-by-claude-mckay-and-after-the-winter-rain-by-ina-coolbrith/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, November 16). Comparing “To Winter” by Claude McKay and “After the Winter Rain” by Ina Coolbrith. https://studycorgi.com/comparing-to-winter-by-claude-mckay-and-after-the-winter-rain-by-ina-coolbrith/

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StudyCorgi. "Comparing “To Winter” by Claude McKay and “After the Winter Rain” by Ina Coolbrith." November 16, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/comparing-to-winter-by-claude-mckay-and-after-the-winter-rain-by-ina-coolbrith/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Comparing “To Winter” by Claude McKay and “After the Winter Rain” by Ina Coolbrith." November 16, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/comparing-to-winter-by-claude-mckay-and-after-the-winter-rain-by-ina-coolbrith/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Comparing “To Winter” by Claude McKay and “After the Winter Rain” by Ina Coolbrith'. 16 November.

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