RECITING POETRY BY THE FIRE. In Whittier’s poem, the family spends time when they are snow-bound telling stories, exchanging memories, and reciting familiar verse to each other (“We sped the time with stories old….”) It is fitting that—during the years that people recited poetry—the poem became something that people recited when there was a snow storm. This essay by Stephen Burt on the Poetry Foundation website remarks on how his mother’s parents “used to read [Snow-bound] aloud when snow closed her school for the day.” When RAB was in the fifth grade, the class had to memorize chunks of it. She says that: “any snowfall continues to evoke its images, its rhythms, its world, its human warmth”.

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