The poem that I chose to present in my Creative Writing class was “The Blizzard,” by Phillis Levin. The first thing that that struck me while reading this was the chilling imagery that is created in the third stanza.”Igloos rise,” “gargoyles fly,” icicles shatter,” “paralyzed avenues” – all of these phrases are described to create an emotional response in addition to the imagery that is so nicely drawn here. That emotion for me was fear. What’ amazing is that the very next line after the third stanza is “Verify every fear.” This suggests that the third stanza was written to create a better sense of this fear that the people in the blizzard were experiencing, and the transition between the third and fourth stanza is especially smooth and flowing.

The structure of this poem is strictly three lines per stanza, with relatively similar lengths in lines. This presents the poem formally, exuding a more formal poem than poems of free verse. This structure choice really helps focus on the meaning of the poem. Through analysis, I noticed that this poem has many potential meanings, layered behind each other. For instance, is the poem just about how devastating a natural disaster is for a community? Or could it have a deeper meaning, such as the narrator’s possible disapproval of technology (shown through the hindsight written and the joy that is revealed when people are talking to each other in person due to the lack of phone use). All of these meanings are pretty serious topics – they’re not meanings that can be taken so lightly – and the seriousness of them is emphasized through the formal structure of this poem