How to Write a Personification Poem About Snow
A personification poem gives human attributes to nonhuman things, such as animals, objects and nature. 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.
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."
Another distinguishing trait of humans is their capacity to feel emotions. For your 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. For example, a snowflake might feel happy when children use it to make a snowman or fear the day when it will inevitably melt. Thinking about snow in multiple dimensions will help you come up with a wide range of feelings.
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.
Kori Morgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has been crafting online and print educational materials since 2006. She taught creative writing and composition at West Virginia University and the University of Akron and her fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals.