Opening Lines'The year goes, the woods decay, and after, many a summer dies.'Decay' - Rotting, passing away, the leaves falling off the trees.Closing Lines'I do not know about that dead grey pane of ice that sees nothing and that nothing sees.'Repetition of 'nothing', the poem is about nothing and the cold reality of death.'dead grey pane of ice' The ice is a barrier that separates the living and the dead.'I' first person, the narrator is affected by the depressing mood of winter.
Past TenseReflects on time and mortality.
The Swan'The swan on Bingham's pond, a ghost, comes and goes.'- Metaphor The swan fades into it's surroundings. A swan is usually a beautiful, majestic creature but appears dark as it haunts the pond.'Even dearest blue's not there, though poets would find it.'The light has no hint of 'dearest blue's' but even in the darkest, coldest days, the memory of summer can still be recalled if we allow ourselves to find it.
Personification 'the dark comes down, the shouts run off into it and disappear.' Personifies the darkness as it swallows the sense of the lively energy as the ice skaters shouts disappear into the darkness.
'blinking in the heavy light'Word choice - 'light' is usually not associated with weight. The winter sunlight provides little warmth showing the harshness of winter and nature.
'When fog drives monstrous down the dual- carriageway out to the west' -ImageryThe fog causes the light to fade and die. Shows the passing of time as the journey of the fog is a march of time towards death. 'Dual-carriageway' represents the linear journey of birth to death. It is also a conclusion to life which is shown by 'west'
Themes- Winter is a conclusion and spring is the new beginning where new life happens.- All things change as a natural process- Time and death which is shown by the progression of the day.- The harshness of nature - Winter is plain and empty as there are no colours only white even the swan blends into it's surrounds. - 'Nothing' reminds us that nothing remains and all joy and light has been consumed by winter