How to Write a Personification Poem About Snow

Giving human qualities to snow can make a creative, surprising poem.

What is a Personification Poem?

A personification poem gives human attributes to nonhuman things, such as animals, objects and nature.

For example:

  • Snow is an element of nature that takes many forms, from violent blizzards to light dusting, making it a fruitful subject for personification.
  • By considering human attributes like emotions, senses and actions, you can write a poem that brings snow to life in a way that surprises and delights readers.

What are Elements of Personification?

1. Actions

Humans show their characters through various attributes, including their actions.

  • According to Champaign Schools' website, active verbs are a key component of personification poems.

To come up with actions for snow:

  • Think about the way it moves under different circumstances.
  • When brainstorming, try to avoid obvious words like "blows," "falls" and "piles up."
  • Instead, think about human actions that the snow seems to perform.
  • If you're writing about a blizzard, you might think of verbs like "thrashes," "attacks" and "writhes."
  • A light snowfall, though, might bring to mind "dances," "twirls" and "gambols."

2. Emotions

Another distinguishing trait of humans is their capacity to feel emotions.

For a snow poem:

  • You can imagine what feelings snow might experience.
  • To brainstorm, you can make a list of common emotions like fear, jealousy and happiness.
  • Then, you can imagine which of these emotions snow might feel and why.
  • Thinking about snow in multiple dimensions will help you come up with a wide range of feelings.

For example:

A snowflake might feel happy when children use it to make a snowman or fear the day when it will inevitably melt.

3. Senses

As a personification poet, you can make your objects experience sensations the same way humans do.

  • Using the five senses as a guide, you can brainstorm sensory experiences snow might have.
  • Like brainstorming emotions, this may require you to think about snow differently than you have before.

For example:

Snow may feel cold to us, but you might consider whether snowflakes experience the cold since it's their normal environment. You might describe the intense heat a snowflake feels when it melts or the slight weight they feel as they pile on top of each other.

Structuring Your Poem

Since the goal of a personification poem is to portray something nonhuman in a surprisingly human way, your poem can be as long or short as it has to be to accomplish this goal.

  • You can write an epic about the snowflakes as they journey from the sky, but your poem can also be very brief, capturing a single picture of the subject.
  • For example, Carl Sandburg's famous poem "Fog" is only six lines long, but its description of how "The fog comes on little cat feet" gives readers an instant, powerful image.
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